Sirius XM is open to including a Pandora-style feature to its satellite radio service, said CEO Mel Karmazin Tuesday, as the company announced its fourth quarter results.
When asked about adding something similar to Pandora, Karmazin responded, “There’s nothing that would preclude us from doing what you said…if it’s something we believe our subscribers would want, we would absolutely do that.”
He added that Sirius XM has the capability to send tailored content to an IP address, but for now it’s happy with research showing the amount of time consumers spend listening to Sirius XM versus custom radio.
As for Sirius XM 2.0—due in the retail segment later this year—it will add new channels and will have an electronic programming guide to let you know what’s on all the channels.
It will offer pause, resume, record and playback capabilities (like TiVO). Also additional data services will be offered over time, said Karmazin. There will be a suite of channels aimed at Hispanic listeners.
Karmazin acknowledged the strong competition in audio technologies but said Sirius has faced severe competition since its inception. “I believe the best days for Sirius XM are yet to come. We fully expect to hit it out of the park in 2011.”
Net subscribers for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 were 328,789 up from 257,028 in the quarter a year ago. The company ended the Q4 and the year with 20.2 million subscribers. For 2011 it expects to add another 1.4 million net new subscribers.
On the retail side, satellite radio continued to bleed subscribers in 2010, however, the flow is declining. It lost about 778,000 net retail subscribers in 2010 compared to a loss of 1.2 million in 2009. OEM subscribers more than doubled in 2010 to 2.2 million compared to 935,000 in 2009.
Sirius XM Q4 revenue rose 9 percent over the same quarter in 2009 hitting $736 million. But the company showed a loss in net income of $81 million compared to positive net income in Q4 last year of $12 million and blamed debt restructuring. Without the debt “extinguishment” and fees, net income would have been $64 million this quarter, it said.
For 2011, Sirius XM expects revenue to hit $3 billion for the full year.