By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Sirius Satellite Radio announced it passed the 500,000-subscriber mark and expects to reach one million subscribers by the end of the year.
Sirius said the half-million milestone represents a near doubling of its subscriber base over the past six months. Sirius attributed the strong sales expected in the second half to the recent tripling of its sales outlets to more than 20,000 storefronts.
Sirius' latest retail expansion is through Advance Auto Parts, an auto parts chain with more than 2,500 stores. Sirius announced this month that Advance Auto Parts will sell a plug-and-play receiver from Audiovox, called the CMB2 jam-pack, for $149.98 beginning in July. The package includes a mobile docking station for the car and an antenna. Sirius said that selling through Advance Auto Parts would allow it to reach new consumers.
Equity research analyst April Horace of Janco Partners, Denver, Colo., said Sirius' latest subscriber count "is in line with my expectations" and ahead of the consensus of most analysts, which expected Sirius to add 120,000 subscribers for the quarter, she said.
Regarding the company's forecast for a million subscribers, Horace noted, most of the additional subs are going to come in late third and fourth quarters, leaving time for Sirius to benefit from several "significant deals" launched recently, including agreements with United Auto Group, the NFL, RadioShack and EchoStar, said Horace.
Separately, Sirius announced two new channels, including an Eminem stream. Eminem and other Shady Records acts will host shows on the mainly hip-hop channel, which will debut this fall. The channel is produced by Eminem and record executives Jimmy Iovine and Paul Rosenberg.
Sirius said it also signed an exclusive deal with skateboard champion Tony Hawk. Hawk will host a weekly show on Sirius Faction, a music channel aimed at action sports enthusiasts. Hawk will play his favorite music, interview guests and interact with fans every Tuesday at 6pm EST on his show called "Tony Hawk's Demolition Radio."
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.