Sirius XM’s CEO Addresses Those Pesky Live Nation Merger Rumors

Sirius XM CEO Jim Meyer
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Sirius XM CEO Jim Meyer

Rumors have been swirling for a few months that Sirius XM may be looking to merge with Live Nation, but today CEO Jim Meyer dismissed those rumors.

During an analyst call, Meyer said he didn’t know where the speculation was coming from, and that it wasn’t on the docket for Sirius XM in the future.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino holds a seat on the Sirius board, but the CEOs of both companies say the relationship improves business opportunities and that’s the extent of the relationship.  Separately, Sirius CFO David Grear was a bit more critical about the recent headline rumors, stating that it was like going to a supermarket and seeing Sasquatch or aliens abducting a baby.

The comments came during the Sirius XM earnings call, where the company reported a rise in earnings and 33.5 million total subscribers for the service.  Quarterly earnings were up 45% to $292 million, compared to the same period a year ago of just $202 million.

The executives attribute this growth to its investments in Pandora and the recent changes to U.S. tax laws.

Overall revenues for the company were up 6% to $1.43 billion, thanks to higher subscriber retention and advertising revenue.

Sirius added 483,000 subscribers this past quarter, which is up 4% from the previous quarter last year.

Perhaps most impressive was the company’s record-low churn rate.  At just 1.6%, Sirius seems to be doing a great job keep subscribers around.  Just recently, Spotify’s churn rate was reported to be 16%, a serious problem if accurate.

The satellite radio company is also expanding its presence with the help of Netflix, thanks to a newly announced deal that will see a comedy-focused radio channel featuring stand-up comics and radio programs produced by the two companies.

One point of concern for the executives during the analyst call was the recent tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts, which could hinder new subscriber numbers.  Meyer stated that car makers have been asking for modifications to the new trade policy and his company will carefully watch the developments that follow.