SiriusXM up, Pandora down

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US pay-radio operator SiriusXM reported revenues up 7 per cent for its Q3 trading and the broadcaster touched the $2 billion (€1.8bn) revenue mark for the first time ever, and helped by the consolidated results from its Pandora streaming division.

Year-on-year subscriber growth (including self-paying subs) was 210.000 and taking its total base to more than 34.6 million.

“SiriusXM’s robust Q3 saw strong results across the board,” said CEO Jim Meyer. “Total net additions benefited from continuing strength in the auto sector, and our adjusted EBITDA hit an all-time quarterly record of $657 million. Things have never been more exciting at the company as we continue to invest in our brands, content, products and expanded OEM distribution. With two months left in the year, we are raising 2019 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow and we are confident in our expectations for self-pay subscriber growth.”

Mayer also addressed what SiriusXM saw as the potential growth available to the company, saying that he foresaw a typical 80 per cent of new vehicles having a satellite radio installed and taking the installed base – although not all are subscribers – from today’s 123 million vehicles to more than 220 million vehicles over the next decade.

As for Pandora its ad-revenue grew 8 per cent and gross profit expanded 19 per cent. But active listeners are well down. A little over 3 years ago Pandora had more listeners than Spotify (79.4 million vs 75 million). The numbers are extremely different with Spotify having ballooned to 248 million worldwide, while Pandora is down to 63.1 million – and stuck in the US.

While Sportify has a near-global presence, Pandora has trimmed its sails and shut down its only overseas operations in Australia and New Zealand.

Looking at the US alone, Pandora has 63.1 million active users in and this is down 1.8 million quarter-on-quarter and down 5.7 million on this same point last year.

However, on the revenue side of the balance sheet, Pandora is doing very well with ad-revenues reaching a record $315 million for the quarter year. Spotify’s ad-revenue for the same period stands at $190 million.


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