SiriusXM Lays Off 475 Employees Across ‘Nearly Every Department,’ Citing ‘Today’s Uncertain Economic Environment’

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Photo Credit: SiriusXM

In December, reports suggested that SiriusXM was preparing to reduce the size of its team after suffering a third-quarter subscribership decline. Now, with paid promotional subscribers having also fallen during Q4, the Pandora parent has laid off 475 employees.

SiriusXM (NASDAQ: SIRI) CEO Jennifer Witz revealed the unfortunate news via a public update this morning. According to the more than two-decade company veteran, the cuts will affect 475 individuals, as mentioned, or approximately eight percent of the satellite-radio provider’s workforce.

(At the time of this writing, none of the 475 professionals appeared to have addressed the layoffs in LinkedIn posts.)

Witz cited “today’s uncertain economic environment” as well as the various “investments we are making in the business this year” as the reasons for the seemingly far-reaching layoffs, which follow an “enterprise-wide review” and will affect “nearly every department across SiriusXM.”

The impacted persons are being “contacted directly,” according to the former LendingTree director Witz, who likewise said that her company will provide these now-former staff members with “exit packages that include severance, transitional health insurance benefits,” and more.

“Today is one of the most difficult days we’ve had to face as a team,” penned Witz, “and these changes impact each of us deeply. However, it is my belief that these tough decisions were necessary as we look to capture the opportunity in front of us.”

Of course, a number of other companies operating in or around the music industry have in recent months moved to slice personnel spending; UMG’s Motown Records, Spotify, Google/Alphabet, Amazon, BMI, Meta, and SoundCloud represent just some of the businesses that have made layoffs.

During 2022, Liberty Media’s SiriusXM generated approximately $9 billion (up about 3.5 percent year over year), according to its full-year performance analysis. The lion’s share of the figure ($6.4 billion, a 4.7 percent YoY jump) resulted from satellite-radio subscriber revenue, whereas $196 million derived from satellite-radio advertising, per the resource.

Nevertheless, satellite radio’s quarterly subscriber revenue ($1.6 billion, up 2.1 percent YoY) increased only modestly, as advert income dipped by $3 million YoY ($50 million total) and equipment revenue decreased by 22.6 percent YoY to hit $41 million.

Meanwhile, SiriusXM communicated that Pandora subscriber revenue had in Q4 fallen $3 million YoY to $130 million, compared to a $12 million YoY decline in the streaming service’s quarterly advert income ($430 million). Although Pandora’s full-year subscriber revenue fell as well (to total $522 million), advert revenue improved by 2.2 percent YoY to near $1.6 billion.

When 2022 concluded, SiriusXM boasted 34.3 million subscribers (including 32.4 million self-pay listeners), according to higher-ups, and Pandora (along with “off platform”) is said to have had 47.6 million monthly active users – roughly 4.6 million less than at 2021’s end. Once again at the time of this writing, SiriusXM stock (NASDAQ: SIRI) was trading for $4.30 per share, reflecting a 1.29 percent increase from Friday’s close.