SiriusXM posted a net loss in its most recent business quarter but the company describes its full-year financial results as strong and expressed excitement about its audio strategies as well as its satellite radio penetration in new cars.
SiriusXM lost $677 million in the fourth quarter; but for all of 2020 SiriusXM had net income of $131 million. Still, that latter number was way off of the $914 million of net income the prior year, thanks to a big “impairment charge” associated with Pandora, primarily related to royalty costs.
Overall in 2020 the company generated revenue of $8.04 billion, up 3% despite the pandemic.
CEO Jennifer Witz, who succeeded Jim Meyer on Jan. 1, said in a statement, “SiriusXM turned in strong operating and financial results in 2020: we grew SiriusXM self-pay subscribers, revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow despite the pandemic. Our new car penetration reached approximately 80% in the fourth quarter and is set to rise above 80% this year, and the incorporation of 360L, our next generation in-car entertainment platform, is accelerating.”
She said SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher, plus the company’s investment in SoundCloud, now reach an audience of more than 150 million. She said the company is “bolstering our position as North America’s leading audio entertainment company” through new shows and podcasts, streaming channels targeting younger consumers and deals with NBCUniversal News Group, The Masters, the NFL and NBA. The company also recently extended its agreement with Howard Stern.
SiriusXM added 909,000 net new self-pay subscribers for the full year, ending with 30.9 million. Total subscribers are now 34.7 million.
The company’s Pandora segment saw ad revenue decline 1% to $1.18 billion, but said this was notable in the context of significant weakness in the ad market during the pandemic. And fourth quarter Pandora ad revenue jumped 22% to $425 million compared to the prior year quarter.