The impact of the pandemic can be seen in the latest financial numbers from SiriusXM, as with most U.S. media companies.
It said revenue for the most recent quarter was $1.9 billion, down 5% compared to the same period a year before, and net income was also down, though its adjusted EBITDA in the quarter was roughly unchanged.
CEO Jim Meyer called its business “resilient” with “improving results and visibility into the remainder of the year.”
The audio company saw ad revenue fall 34% in the quarter, though it said it compensated for this through “substantial” expense savings.
“Despite the incredible economic stresses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, our self-pay net subscriber additions grew by nearly 200,000 over the first quarter of the year, and we reported improved churn of just 1.6% per month with rising ARPU,” said Meyer.
Among other recent actions, he said, “We opened up our SiriusXM service for free during a time when people needed news, information and entertainment and we saw millions of new listeners take advantage of it.”
Looking ahead, he noted the pending rollout of the company’s hybrid radio platform 360L in cars from Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, GMC brands and Volkswagen.
The company also has been in acquisition mode, and it pointed out that it has committed $428 million to acquire Simplecast and Stitcher and a minority investment in Soundcloud.
It says the Stitcher transaction announced this month will substantially advance its position in podcasting. Senior EVP and CFO David Frear said, “We are excited to offer advertisers an attractive path for audience-based buys, including to over 150 million North American listeners across our platforms.”
In the company’s Pandora business, ad revenue fell 31% to $211 million, and gross profit fell 55%. “Numerous categories of advertisers cancelled or paused orders during the second quarter in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, revenue declines moderated throughout the quarter.” Monthly Active Users and total ad supported listener hours for Pandora were down while average monthly listening hours per active ad-supported user increased compared to a year earlier.
SiriusXM has about 34.3 million total subscribers, of which 30.3 million are “self-pay” subscribers (the company also has paid promotional subscribers). Total Pandora subscribers at the end of the period were 6.3 million.