Sirius tunes in 500,000 subscribers

Co. keeps constant lead over rival XM

Sirius has just passed the 500,000-subscriber mark, the radio satcaster said Wednesday, and is on track to reach 1 million by the end of the year.

Company had hoped new promotional pushes, such as the inclusion of its services on Charlie Ergen-owned Dish Network and a partnership with RadioShack, would help boost sales.

But while Sirius has seen a healthy 42% boost since the end of the first quarter, it is staying constant with about 25% as many subscribers as its larger rival, XM.

The 500,000-subscriber mark was reached Tuesday, meaning Sirius likely added some 100,000 subs in the second quarter, slightly more than the 90,000 additions in the first quarter.

Sirius has attempted to differentiate itself from XM with more of a focus on premium entertainment and sports content. Company hired former USA Films chairman Scott Greenstein as its prexy of entertainment and sports in May to work on strategic partnerships and adding video content. Last week, satcaster signed with rapper Eminem to create a hip-hop music and lifestyle channel.

One thing both operations have in common, though, is large losses. Sirius lost $146.4 million in the first quarter; XM’s net loss was $170.1 million.

Sirius stock closed up 1.15% Wednesday at $2.63.

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