New York - Sirius XM said it will launch its most aggressive advertising campaign to date on Nov. 15 to promote the brand during the fourth quarter.
On an earnings call with analysts Thursday, Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin said now that the merger and liquidity issues are past, there is a need to promote the brand. "In 10 days, we will launch the most aggressive brand marketing campaign in our history. With so much media coverage on our merger and past liquidity, it's time for consumers to hear about our content," Karmazin said.
He added later, "It's been a while since we put the brand out there in advertising."
The campaign will hit network and cable television as well as some Internet and newspaper advertising as "a straight branding campaign," said president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein.
The campaign may also be supplemented with fourth-quarter product promotions at the retail level on the Internet, added operations and sales president Jim Meyer.
In reporting its third-quarter financial results Thursday, Sirius XM also said it expects positive subscriber growth for the full year 2010 as car sales are expected to rise to 11.3 million units.
While the company returned to positive subscriber growth for the third quarter, with net additions of 102,295 overall subscribers, it continued to lose retail subscribers. It shed 309,972 retail subscribers, compared with a pro forma loss of 149,417 net new retail subscribers in 2008.
Sirius XM told analysts its new XM SkyDock is the cheapest product for Sirius XM to build because it doesn't require a screen and it's also its easiest product to install in the car.
Sirius XM also stated it had achieved a 55 penetration in new vehicles, expected to increase to 58 percent by the end of the year, with much of the gain coming from Toyota which is still adding satellite radio. Ultimately, the company expects to reach a penetration rate in the mid-60 percent range as it does not want to achieve 100 percent penetration of lower-cost vehicles, it said.
Meyer said the company is also aggressively pursing the used car market.
Also, Sirius XM now has 600,000 unpaid trial subscribers, who typically convert to paid subscribers at the rate of 47 percent.