SiriusXM Subscribers Flatline at 34 Million, Pandora Erosion Continues — But There’s a New App Coming

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Photo Credit: SiriusXM

SiriusXM reported its Q3 2023 financials, revealing its subscriber growth has flatlined as it sheds both satellite radio and Pandora customers. Here’s the latest.

SiriusXM reports that it lost 96,000 self-pay subscribers in Q3, which is a slowing decline compared to the previous two quarter losses of Q1 (-347,000) and Q2 (-132,000). The loss is especially stark against last year’s Q3 2022, where it added 187,000 new subscribers. For 2023 SiriusXM has lost 336,000 subscribers compared to the gain of 138,000 for the first nine months of 2022.

Self-pay subscribers to the SiriusXM service sits at 31.8 million, with total users falling just below 34 million. The satellite radio firm said it expected a drop in users for the full year in 2023, citing economic and car industry challenges for its business model. But what about Pandora? Things aren’t looking too rosy for the DSP, either.

Pandora shed 112,000 subscribers in Q3 2023, which is nearly double the subscriber loss (52,000) of Q3 2022. Pandora has shed around 150,000 subscribers over 2023 and appears set to end the year with around 6 million subscribers for Pandora. Despite the decline in subscribers, Pandora saw its ad revenue jump 3% YoY to $418 million, and up 5% compared to the previous quarter.

Monthly active users (MAUs) for Pandora have reached 46.5 million in Q3, down from the 48.8 million in Q3 2022. Total ad-supported listener hours also saw a drop to 2.64 billion, down from 2.75 billion in Q3 2022. SiriusXM overall reported Q3 2023 revenue of $2.27 billion, which is slightly down from the $2.28 billion revenue in Q3 2022. Earnings of $363 million rose from $247 million compared to 2022. EBITDA rose 4% to $747 million for the quarter.

SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz says the company is looking at releasing a new streaming app designed to appeal to younger audiences.

“It’s really about how do we continue to enhance the value of our subscriptions and [showcase] this tremendously valuable set of content that really speaks to every audio genre,” Witz said while discussing the company’s plans. “The biggest gap we found is being able to get consumers into the content they love. In the car, it’s been very much about turning the dial or hearing the on-air promotion, or getting an email and going to find the content.”

“We’re going to be able to make it much easier for our in-car subscribers to carry their listening forward into streaming services, and vice versa, in a seamless way. So ultimately I think it’s not going to be about streaming subscribers or in-car subscribers, but really just about subscribers because we’re pretty indifferent as to how or where they are when they listen.”