Monday, July 31, 2006
Sirius Ch 17, Jam_ON will play lots of Jerry Garcia music and interviews for 9 days at the begining of Aug. From Aug 1st (Jerry Garcia's Birthday) to Aug 9th (the day garcia died in 1995 of a heart attack because of sleep apnea). They will play clips from band mates, live songs from the millions of hours the Grateful Dead logged on the road over the years Garcia fronted the band. Check out Jam_ON Celebrates Jerry Garcia on Sirius Channel 17 begining August 1st.
Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn will host a 2 hour special on Sirius' Big 80s channel 8 on Tuesday Aug 1st at 10am Est. The "Big ‘80s Celebrates MTV at 25" Special will have 4 of the original 5 VeeJays that helped launch MTV, the only member of the orignal 5 will be the late JJ Jackson who died in March on 2004 of a Heart Attack. They have been reunited since 2004 when Sirius hired the original 5 to be the DJ's on Sirius' 80's channel.
Sirius has signed to be either a standard feature or factory options on four 2007 models and all 2008 Mitsubishi Motors vehicles. Sirius is now available as either standard or options on Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Kia and now Mitsubishi.
Read here for more information
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Arbitron, the company that is the Neilsen Ratings of radio, has announced that they will be measuring satellite radio channels starting with its Fall 2006 survey. The information was released at their board meeting in Colorado Springs, CO. from July 26-28.
In order for satellite radio to be included it was announced that they will have to meet the minimum reporting requirements that terrestrial radio must meet. This is good news for everyone with SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The ratings will finally show what programming and channels are really working or not.
Monday, July 24, 2006
In SEC filings this week, both Sirius and XM reveal what's working, what's not and what still needs to be done to ensure certain products do not exceed allowable Part 15 emission limits and bandwidth occupancy requirements.
In an internal review, Sirius says it discovered "certain Sirius personnel requested manufacturers to produce Sirius radios that were not consistent with the FCC's rules."
As a result, the company says it's taking "significant steps" to ensure this problem does not recur, including the adoption of a comprehensive compliance plan, approved by the Sirius board, to ensure that future products comply with FCC rules.
This is pretty obvious. Of course someone at SIRIUS told the manufacturers to make the FM transmitters stronger than allowed by the FCC. It is pretty obvious why they did it - the radios with the stronger transmitters work significantly better for the customer.
This is one of those difficult situations where following the rules is good for society at the expense of the individual.
On a related note - Best Buy is out of S50s and TSS-Radio is out of S50s. The S50 is by far the best selling sirius radio - it is hard to imagine that this won't have an effect on SIRIUS subscriber adds this quarter.
Circuit City still has S50s, and there are a few other models that seem in better supply, like the Sirius Sportster 4 and the Streamer Replay are still available, so all is not so dire.
Three Months of Complimentary SIRIUS Service Included
NEW YORK July 24, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) today announced that Peterbilt Motors Company, a division of PACCAR (Nasdaq:PCAR) and a leading manufacturer of premium quality trucks, will include SIRIUS radios with its new truck models equipped with Platinum level Unibilt® sleepers.
Earlier this year, Peterbilt introduced an all-new product lineup featuring vehicles specifically designed for the aero, traditional, vocational and medium duty markets. Its new traditionally styled Model 389 and Model 388, as well as its aerodynamic Model 386, can all be equipped with Platinum level sleepers.
Additionally, SIRIUS radios will continue to be available as factory installed option on all other Class 8 conventional Peterbilt vehicles. Peterbilt will also offer prepaid activation and three months of complimentary service on all vehicles equipped with SIRIUS radios starting with production installation on August 1, 2006.
Peterbilt will use the DEA300 SIRIUS/AM/FM/CD radio, the first all-in-one SIRIUS integrated radio available as factory installed in the commercial vehicle market.
"Response to satellite radio within the commercial vehicle market has been tremendous and SIRIUS is at the forefront of offering listeners an incredible variety of creative programming," said Scott Pearson, Assistant General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Peterbilt Motors Company. "Sirius’ service makes our products more desirable to our customers."
"We are very excited about Peterbilt’s decision to include SIRIUS radios as a standard feature on select vehicles," said Tom Steckbeck, SIRIUS VP of Special Markets. "Peterbilt is recognized as a leading manufacturer of premium vehicles for commercial markets and we are proud they have chosen to equip their trucks with SIRIUS. We look forward to working closely with them in the future to offer their dealers and customers the best in-vehicle entertainment available."
Sirius 80's channel morning DJ Richard Blade is not only playing the hits from the 80s every morning on Sirius Ch. 8, but he is also a writer. Blade wrote the thriller (not Michael Jackson's) "Long Lost Son" which airs tonight 9pm EST on the Lifetime Channel.
Blade lives in Los Angeles and is also on Sirius 1st Wave (ch 22) as well as doing weekends on LA's Star 98.7.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Rich Vanden Boogard wrote an article at SeekingAlpha entitled Sirius Satellite Radio: Bleeding Cash Faster Than Subscriber Growth where he wrote:
they continue to lose more and more money as they grow subscibers. Adding subscribers doesn't mean value's been added and the stock should go up.
Lest we not forget Krispy Kreme Donuts (KKD) which suddenly sprouted stores everywhere?
I thought that was a pretty dumb thing to say, given the big spread between the revenue SIRIUS gets from each new customer and what it costs them to acquire each new customer. Sean crunches the numbers on the TSS-Radio Blog:
In this case I would argue that it does mean that value has been added. Each month 1.8% of SIRIUS' subscribers quit, according to the first quarter results announced by SIRIUS. That means that each year about 21.6% of Sirius' subscribers quit. That means that the average customer stays with Sirius for (1/21.6%) 4.6 years. At $13 / month, 12 months / year that means that for every subscriber SIRIUS gets $722 in revenue, over 4.6 years for each subscriber that they sign up.
It costs SIRIUS $122 for each subscriber that they attract, according to SIRIUS' 1Q results announcement.
In my view, that means that every time SIRIUS signs up a subscriber, they are netting $600 in profit. Why then wouldn't value be added each time a subscriber signs up?
Many SIRIUS afficianodos don't realize that SIRIUS and XM also offer marine weather feeds, that feed into the navigation system of a boat and show a radar map and weather forecast. There is no mention of it in either XM or SIRIUS financial statements, but I would imagine that they see it as being a good way to eke some revenue out of spare capacity on their satellites.
Panbo's Marine Electronics Blog recently posted a comparison of the XM and SIRIUS marine weather services. It's pretty interesting.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
June NPD Numbers are in and SSG has them. GSI is proud to have SSG as part of the Inside SIRIUS Alliance.
In June of 2006 SIRIUS once again dominates the Satellite Radio New Sales.
Sirius - 61%
XM - 39%
SOME INTERESTING NUMBERS
1. Satellite radio sales were up 59% over the previous month.
2. Satellite radio sales were up .03% over last year
3. Sirius sales were up 78% over the previous month.
4. Sirius sales were up 18% over last year.
5. XM sales were up 36% over the previous month.
6. XM sales were down 19% under last year
In the past NPD has always seemed to "overstate" the retail share of Sirius. In Q1 2006, NPD "understated" the retail share of Sirius by about 6 percentage points (we will know the effect for Q2 when the retail breakdowns are given at the respective conference calls in the coming weeks). This revesal of how NPD compares to the NET retail subscribers as reported by Sirius and XM is likely attributable to Sirius beefing up sales at NON-NPD channels such as Wal Mart, and direct on line sales.
SSG covers what NPD is, and what it tracks below:
Now to address what NPD is and what it tracks. From the NPD Website..."NPD point of sale (POS) information is collected from approximately 600 retail partners that provide store movement information.
NPD partners represent more than 120,000 doors worldwide. Additionally NPD works with distributors in targeted industries to provide comprehensive views of the market. Their network spans key retail distribution channels such as department stores, national chains, specialty stores, mass and more.Equipped with NPD information, retailers and the manufacturers that supply products to them can better understand how their performance compares to what is happening in the rest of the market.
This enables them to identify new opportunities and areas of potential vulnerability so they can be proactive in taking appropriate actions.The POS information provided to NPD from retailers’ cash registers provides participating retailers with product sales and pricing detail for both themselves and the remaining channel or market. This level of detail helps companies assess which products are selling, which are not, at what price points, and in which channels. It also makes it possible for retailers to evaluate their company’s performance in key merchandise categories relative to the aggregate competition. NPD also aggregates its data for certain merchandise categories/classes of trade, providing an even more comprehensive view of changes occurring in the retail marketplace.
What Many People Misunderstand About NPD
On the message boards people often state that the NPD data is not accurate because the percentages do not match up with what Sirius and XM report at the end of the quarter. There is a reason for this and it is as follows:
1. NPD tracks retail sales on a GROSS basis. Retail subscribers reported by Sirius and XM are on a NET basis. Further, there can sometimes be a gap between when a unit is purchased (and thus recorded by NPD), and when the purchaser activates their subscription with either Sirius or XM.
2. The NPD data is indeed accurate. It is based on actual sales of units. Those who call it inaccurate simply are likely misinformed about what NPD is and what it tracks.
3. NPD does not track Wal Mart. It also does not track small independent retailers, nor the sales from Sirius Direct or XM Direct. This is a factor that can skew the percentages that NPD captures vs. the overall percentage comparisons.
4. NPD does capture the sales from the stores that are most responsible for overall sales of satellite radio.
5. NPD does not capture any “give-away” units such as XM’s baseball promotion.The value in the NPD numbers is in comparing how each company is performing at retail stores and chains where most SDARS units are sold. NPD is very good at showing a trend, and very good at illustrating consumer sentiment with regards to which service is more popular.
SSG recommends that before you discount any data that you first comprehend it. Those that choose to ignore the data are not really doing themselves any favors. It is always good to learn and know as much as you can.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
* Comprehensive factory installation program launching with 2007 model year vehicles
* Virtually all Ford vehicles will be equipped with SIRIUS by 2008
Ford of Canada and SIRIUS Canada announced an exclusive long term agreement that will make SIRIUS Satellite Radio receivers factory-installed equipment in virtually all Ford vehicles sold in Canada by 2008. Starting with 2007 model year vehicles, Ford of Canada will offer the factory-installed satellite radio receivers bundled with a subscription to SIRIUS Canada’s premium 110 channel satellite radio service. The majority of the Ford Motor Company brands in Canada - Ford, Lincoln Mercury, Land Rover, Jaguar, Volvo and Aston Martin - are covered by the agreement.
Multiple Ford of Canada vehicle lines are being targeted to have SIRIUS Satellite Radio in the 2007 model year including Ford Fusion, Mustang, Five Hundred, Freestyle, Ranger, Explorer, Sport Trac, Expedition, Expedition Max, Edge, Lincoln Navigator, MKZ, and MKX. By 2008, virtually all Ford Canada vehicles will be equipped with SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
One of the Posters over at Sirius Backstage discovered a picture of the new Universal SIRIUS Boombox the SUBX1. The SUBX1 will work with the new Sportster 4 as well as the upcoming models such as the new live portable, the new Starmate 3 and the Sportster 3 models as well. You can thank manuelpl over at SBS for the link.
SIRIUS also plans to hold a conference call at 8:00 am ET to discuss these results. Investors, the financial community and the press can listen to the conference call via the company's website, www.sirius.com, and on its satellite radio service by tuning to SIRIUS channel 125. A replay of the call will be available on the company's website.
Over the weekend in Newsweek, Mel let us know his view on the NAB.. You can read the full Newsweek/MSNBC story here:
Today R&R asked, NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton about what Karmazin had to say about the broadcaster’s association's request.. The NAB spokesman responded, "NAB believes responsible self-regulation is preferable to government regulation in areas related to program content. However, if there is government regulation, satellite radio ought not get a free pass given the explicitness of its content."
Get the full R& R story HERE
Monday, July 10, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
"In 2007, We Will Be Generating Cash"
Mel Karmazin, CEO, Sirius Satellite Radio
NEWSWEEK's Brad Stone got to sit down with Mel and chat about a few things, you can read the full story in this weeks Newsweek, and also at MSNBC.com
Stone: Is Sirius where you wanted it to be a year and a half into your tenure?
Karmazin: The company is far ahead of where most people thought it would be. When I joined in November 2004 we had 700,000 subscribers, and as of the end of the first quarter of this year we had over 4.2 million. Obviously, investors are most interested in how we can make money. In 2007, for the first time, we will be generating cash as compared to using cash. That could happen as soon as the fourth quarter this year.
How do you account for the decline in the stock price this year?
Wall Street has gotten past this idea that people will pay for radio. The catalyst for the stock moving now is, what's the business model? So I think it's so important that we generate this free cash flow and that we do generate a billion dollars by 2010. That would clearly say that this is a good business.
Isn't it a little boring to be judged on pure financials, instead of, say, the success of your next movie?
That's the reason I joined. At CBS, everyone would worry about how well "Mission: Impossible" would do, and I would try to get them to focus on cash flow of outdoor advertising or our TV or radio stations. I feel most comfortable running a business where the report card is financial.
You recently spoke about the possibility of buying XM. Clearly that's not a short-term possibility. Why did you say it?
I was asked the question. I answered it honestly. Certainly I'd be interested if a company is for sale, if the price is right and if regulators would allow it. In the case of satellite radio, it's hard to argue that strategically [buying XM] would fit. It's not something we're pursuing.
What was your reaction when the National Association of Broadcasters recently asked the FCC to investigate decency standards on satellite radio?
An organization like the NAB should be a proponent of free speech. There's certainly disappointment on my part and I know others who are saying, gee, that's not what the NAB should be doing.
Do you think we're going to see more acquisitions by big media companies, along the lines of News Corp.'s purchase of MySpace?
I do. I think it makes sense assuming they are buying at the right price. It still will be immaterial to revenues for an awful long time. If something happens to the more mature assets at News Corp., I don't think that MySpace is going to be an offset.
Why do these Internet firms pose so much of a threat to traditional media, but on the other hand don't help the bottom line much?
The opportunity is with the larger companies. Yahoo or Google have the potential to balance out some of the erosion, but the problem is those Internet firms are not for sale. The stock multiple of those Internet companies, versus the stock multiple of media stocks, makes that kind of combination almost impossible.
What are your thoughts on the recent split of Viacom into two separate units, Viacom and CBS?
It's not something I wanted to see happen, since I was the one who put the companies together. It's only been about six months since the split. Do the math and the stock is down significantly from that time.
via Newsweek via MSNBC
Friday, July 07, 2006
Our Inside SIRIUS Alliance Partner SSG has contributed an article about the Bridge Ratings. In this particular quarter it seems the estimates have been changed to account for the new numbers released by SIRIUS and XM.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Just over a month ago we learned that Wistron NeWeb (WNC) will most likely be the manufacturer behind the upcoming Sirius true-portable Satellite Radio/MP3 Player. The date? The 2nd half of 2006.
Well, lo-and-behold now it turns out that Humax has something up their sleeve as well. Humax, who are the peeps behind the Sirius S50, is expecting to have a "new model" starting in the 3rd quarter of 2006, according to this report (PDF). Here's the snippet:
Humax started the satellite radio business in 4Q05 when it supplied its S50 model to Sirius, the North American satellite radio operator. Thanks to growing demand and increasing Sirius subscribers, the business posted moderate earnings results. However, the S50 was a high-end product focused on design and specialties and thus failed to meet customer needs. Accordingly, 1Q06 sales growth was negative and we expect stagnant sales and dwindling inventory levels in 2Q06. The company is to supply Sirius with a new model starting in 3Q06.
[Read the full report] (PDF)
Full story at Orbitcast.com
SIRIUS ADDS 202,460 more then XM.. In 2Q06
Sirius Satellite Radio said the number of net subscribers to the company's service grew 64 percent in the second quarter from a year ago.
SIRIUS said it added 600,460 news subscribers during the period for a total of 4.68 million subscribers, compared with 1.8 million total subscribers a year ago.
XM have added 398,000 new subscribers for the second quarter of 2006, bringing the total amount of XM subscribers to 6.89 millionMore in SIRIUS PR
RBC analyst David Bank is estimating weaker subscriber additions for XM Satellite Radio for the second quarter. According to Forbes, the street expects additions of 420,000 to 440,000 subscribers in the second quarter, versus Bank's estimate of 420,000 XM subscribers.
By contrast, Bank is estimating a whopping 589,000 subscribers in the second quarter for Sirius.
Bank figures that XM's estimated weakness is caused by lower promotional activity and inventory issues caused by the recent FCC regulatory issues. Time will only tell how much these factors actually affected retail sales.
XM has just announced the REAL numbers for 2Q06:
....they have added 398,000 new subscribers for the second quarter of 2006, bringing the total amount of XM subscribers to 6.89 million. This is quite a bit lower than many analysts estimated. Orbitcast.com points out during Q106, XM added 568,000 subscribers.
Get more via Forbes.com and Orbitcast.com
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Directed Electronics said that it recieved a letter from the FCC saying the ST2 (or Starmate Replay) and S50-C were out of compliance with FCC regulations. The radios seem to be out of compliance with either the frequency range or emissions limits.
Directed Elec said that they will cooperate with the FCC and condunct an internal review of this issue. They said that they will work with Sirius to make all the nessasary changes to remain FCC compliant.
See more Here