SiriusXM Shed 500K Subscribers in Q2 2023, Pandora Subs Edge Downwards

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SiriusXM Q2 2023 results

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Photo Credit: SiriusXM

SiriusXM lost half a million satellite radio customers in the last 24 months—with Pandora subs trending downwards, too. 

SiriusXM revealed it has 34 million subscribers, pulling in $1.725 billion in direct revenue for the three months ending June 30, 2023. That figure represents 75% of SiriusXM’s overall earnings of $2.25 billion for the quarter. Pandora and its podcast platform Stitcher (which is shutting down) brought in $400 million in advertising revenue and $128 million in subscription revenue for the quarter. 

SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz says her company is “pleased to report continued progress toward reaching our financial and operating goals this year.” She also reiterates that the company’s first and foremost goal is to “reinforce SiriusXM’s distinct and leading position in the audio entertainment industry with new curated live content and by enhancing control and discovery across all our platforms.”

SiriusXM’s advertised subscription fees do not include taxes or the music royalty surcharge that helps offset the cost of broadcasting recorded and live music. One SiriusXM employee speaking to The Desk affirmed that the average streaming customer pays around $11 a month before taxes and fees, while the typical satellite customer pays around $18 a month. Another price bump for satellite customers may be coming, as Witz discussed several potential options for its connected audio platform launching later this year.

“We feel really good about the business model, both on the streaming side and on the in-car side,” Witz commented on those changes. “We expect to, probably, add more subscribers on the streaming side as we move forward, as we see more growth there.”

1691011345 142 SiriusXM Shed 500K Subscribers in Q2 2023 Pandora Subs Edge | Richmcculley

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1691011345 142 SiriusXM Shed 500K Subscribers in Q2 2023 Pandora Subs Edge | Richmcculley

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Photo Credit: SiriusXM

SiriusXM has struggled to convince new users to sign up for its services. The rate at which it is losing subscribers is gradual, but it appears to be struggling to attract new customers. Total subscriber growth over the last nine quarters has remained a flat line. 

SiriusXM Subscriber Growth Over Three Years

2021

  • Q2 2021 | 34.5 million
  • Q3 2021 | 34.3 million
  • Q4 2021 | 34 million

2022

  • Q1 2022 | 34 million
  • Q2 2022 | 34 million
  • Q3 2022 | 34.2 million
  • Q4 2022 | 34 million

2023

  • Q1 2023 | 34 million
  • Q2 2023 | 34 million

Witz also suggested the habit of cutting long-time customers who threaten to quit the satellite service a better deal than what’s advertised may be over. SiriusXM is also looking to break its reliance on the automotive industry and the generous free trials it provides to new car buyers.

“We are continuing to invest in, and I continue to think (digital) is going to be a bigger portion of our subscriptions going forward,” Witz told investors. “It’s going to make us less reliant on the auto industry.”