NEW YORK —
SiriusXM 2.0 service will offer a host
of features such as an electronic program guide and
the ability to buy music, as well as the ability to pause,
resume, replay and record programming.
Mel Karmazin, CEO, outlined the features during an
analysts’ conference call last week.
During that call SiriusXM also reported that it expanded
its subscriber base for the sixth consecutive
quarter to a year-end 20.2 million, but it interrupted
four consecutive quarters of net income with a fourthquarter
net loss of $81.4 million, thanks in part to
$59.7 million in charges and $85.4 million in losses
incurred by extinguishing debt and credit facilities.
Despite the fourth-quarter net loss, the company posted
$71.6 million in operating income for the quarter and
posted full-year net income of $43.1 million, compared
with a 2009 net loss of $352 million.
Revenues grew in the quarter by 8.8 percent to
$735.9 million and by 14 percent for the full year to a
record $2.82 billion.
For the full year, the company posted $210 million
in free cash flow following 2009’s $185 million and, in
2008, more than $500 million in negative cash flow,
said Karmazin, who noted that free cash flow will ramp
up dramatically in the future because no new satellites
will be launched for about five years.
The company posted a subscriber base gain of 1.4
million in 2010 to a record 20.2 million, compared with
a 2009 loss of 231,098. Karmazin said he expects
gains of another 1.4 million subscribers in 2011, thanks
to rising auto sales and to self-pay churn rates and promotional-to-paid conversion rates that improved in
2010 and will continue at those rates in 2011.
The fourth-quarter gain in net new subscribers was
328,789, up from the year-ago gain of 257,028.
“With the outlook for improving U.S. auto sales, declining
capital expenditures, and the expanded functionality
coming with the launch of SirusXM 2.0, we look forward to
another year of growth and strong financial performance,”
For the 2.0 launch in the fall, Karmazin reiterated plans
to add a “significant number of channels” and offer a
suite of channels targeted to Hispanics. The service can
be received only by a new generation of tuners available
this year only through retail, but existing radios won’t become
Some of 2.0’s capabilities, however, are already available
through select tuners. The XMp3i MP3-style XM portable,
for example, records programs for later playback,
and the Xpress RCi Dock and Play tuner offers a program
guide and ability to pause live programming for up to 60
minutes. The SkyDock for the car enables iTunes tagging
to later purchase songs heard on satellite radio, as does
a planned universal car tuner, which will be controlled by
select aftermarket head units and is due this year from
multiple aftermarket suppliers.