SiriusXM Adds 210,000 Subscribers This Quarter ⁠— Pandora Subscribers Plunge

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SiriusXM’s financials reveal the company added roughly 210,000 net subscribers, while earnings slipped substantially.  The story at Pandora wasn’t rosy.

The company’s third-quarter 2019 total revenue was $2.0 billion, which increased by 37% compared to last year. That boost comes from the completion of the acquisition of Pandora Media in February this year.

SiriusXM reported net income of $246 million in Q3 2019, compared to $343 million during Q3 2018. Sirius says the dramatic decline can be attributed to refinancing expenses and non-recurring tax benefits. Sirius’ effective tax rate for Q3 2019 was 22.2% compared to 3.3% in Q3 2018.

A quick breakdown of some other numbers revealed in SiriusXM’s Q3 financials include a slowly-growing subscriber base. The company added 210,000 net new self-pay subscribers in Q3, bringing the total to 29.2 million.

Sirius says paid promotional subscribers decreased due to declines from automakers, who typically offer paid promotional subscriptions.  The dashboard has never been easy real estate, though Sirius’ overexposure to it remains a problem.  That’s one reason the company recently struck a deal with Google to bring SiriusXM content to Google Assistant. SiriusXM wants to stop being so reliant on vehicle entertainment systems going forward.

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Third-quarter revenues grew 7% to $1.6 billion compared to the prior year. Sirius says that growth was driven by a 3% increase in total SiriusXM subscribers. SiriusXM also reported a 3% growth in average revenue per user ⁠— now at $13.90.

Gross profit at SiriusXM for Q3 2019 totaled $970 million and increased 7% over the same quarter last year.

Advertising revenues for Pandora reached an all-time high this quarter, raking in $315 million. That revenue was driven by Q3 2019 monetization of $85 per 1,000 hours ⁠— growing 10% over the same quarter last year. That was boosted by video and the expansion of the AdsWizz platform. Total revenue for Pandora grew 7% to $447 million thanks to a 5% increase in subscriber revenue.

Despite the ad growth, Pandora reported a substantial drop in monthly active users.  The service had 63.1 million at the end of Q3 2019, down from 68.8 million in the same period last year.  Pandora reported a gain in 33 million self-pay subscribers, but a plunge of 655 million after sunsetting promotional subscriptions were taken into account. Sirius attributes the massive drop to a a promotional deal with T-Mobile ending, resulting in the loss of nearly 700,000 paid promotional trials.

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