SiriusXM’s new CEO Jennifer Witz said Tuesday that the satellite radio company will test a free SiriusXM service that includes advertisements at some point this year.
Witz said the free SiriusXM offering will include ads targeted to the user and it will also include “an improved presentation of Pandora in vehicles.”
”We plan to test various approaches to an ad-supported version of SiriusXM starting this year in order to determine the best way to run a scaled offering like this in the future,” Witz told financial analysts in a conference call.
We were uncertain as to whether the ad-supported service is dependent on the new 360L platform, which will be in about 25 percent of SiriusXM-enabled cars sold this year, moving up to 80 percent by 2025.
SiriusXM’s penetration in new cars is now 80 percent, up from 73 percent in 2019. And its penetration in used cars is now 50 percent.
At the same time, SiriusXM announced its fourth quarter and full-year 2020 results, which included the addition of 909,000 self-pay subscribers for the year to almost 30.9 million in total. Revenue for the year increased 2 percent to $6.35 billion. Net income swung to a loss of $677 million compared to a gain of $243 million last year. This was due to a $976 million impairment charge related to Pandora and its royalty cost structure.