SiriusXM, home to Howard Stern, posted middling results for 2022’s second financial quarter on Thursday, saying that it added 23,000 paid subscribers to its satellite radio unit in the first quarter and showed revenue growth of just over 4% to $2.25 billion, but showed signs of hunkering down for an “uncertain economic environment.” Total subscribers for the company, which recently acquired Team Coco, the Conan O’Brien-led podcast network and digital media business, for a reported $150 million, stood at 34 million at the end of the latest financial quarter on June 30.
“While we are confident that we can deliver positive self pay subscriber growth, we no longer expect to attain our prior subscriber guidance due to challenges and uncertainty in new and used auto sales. However, with strong predictable subscriber driven revenue, we are able to reiterate all of our financial guidance,” Jennifer Witz, CEO of SiriusXM, told analysts during an earnings call Thursday morning. The company saw its growth impacted by slowness in domestic auto sales.
Its earnings fell to $292 million in the second quarter, compared to $433 million in the same quarter in 2021. Advertising revenue for its second business unit, Pandora and “off-platform,” rose 5 percent to $403; off-platform advertising, along with the company’s podcast business, was up 50 percent year over year to $119 million 2022.
Witz pointed to challenges ahead in the advertising category. “There have been some cancellations and deferrals,” she said, “and we expect some continuation of that and we’ve incorporated all that in the numbers,” she said.
In its first-quarter results, SiriusXM said it had lost 25,000 self-pay subscribers in its satellite radio unit in the first quarter, while paid promotional subscribers dropped by 54,000.
“We are pleased with our results in the second quarter, and while we continue to navigate an uncertain economic environment, we delivered strong financial performance and continued to make strategic investments in our business that will set us up for an exciting new era at SiriusXM,” Witz in a statement accompanying the results. “We remain committed to creating compelling experiences for our listeners by investing in innovative technologies to deliver best-in-class, curated, comprehensive audio entertainment. We remain equally committed to delivering consumers the best and widest choice in premium audio content. From launching pop-up channels celebrating Black Music Appreciation Month to acquiring Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco to produce new content for our listeners, and most recently, expanding our relationship with the NFL to deliver the most extensive sports lineup in audio entertainment, we will continue to enhance our platform to ensure broad appeal.”
“SiriusXM’s churn was steady at approximately 1.5% in the quarter, underscoring the strength of our business, our products, and loyalty of our customers. In the second quarter, we delivered focused expansion in key streaming offerings and maintained a strong balance sheet,” said Sean Sullivan, Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer. “This quarter we returned over $300 million in capital to stockholders, comprising $217 million in common stock repurchases and $86 million in dividends, and ended the quarter with net debt to adjusted EBITDA of 3.6 times.”