This Week in Sirius XM

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Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite radio provider.

Shares of Sirius XM Radio moved lower this past week, sliding 2.1% to close at $3.69. The media darling's slide was far worse than Nasdaq's 0.1% gain on the week.

There was more going on beyond the share price gyrations.


Sirius XM CEO Jim Meyer appeared on CNBC. On the streaming front, Pandora posted its monthly metrics. Smaller rivals are also making waves on the digital front.

Let's take a closer look.

The new king of all media
CEO Jim Meyer may not be as media savvy as Mel Karmasin, but that makes it all the more exceptional when he's out in front of a national viewing audience to pitch satellite radio.

Meyer's appearance on CNBC may not have offered a lot of nuggets that diehard Sirius XM investors don't already know.

  • Sirius XM receivers are being installed in 70% of new cars.
  • There are now 57 million cars across the country with Sirius or XM receivers, and more than 30 million are not active.
  • Sirius XM sees a bigger opportunity in used cars than new cars.

He also went on to say that terrestrial radio -- and not the challenge of streaming services in connected cars -- is the real enemy. He even took some shots at Pandora's model, arguing that it will never work unless it loads up on even more advertising.

That could be wishful thinking on his part now that Pandora's getting better at monetizing its traffic. Pandora's revenue grew three times faster than usage in its latest quarter. However, Meyer is merely pointing to the larger terrestrial radio opportunity as where market share is there for the taking.

More Sirius developments
Sirius XM announced that it will introduce a new NBA channel, talking hoops 24/7. The new sports channel will kick off its broadcasts on Monday.

Sirius also announced the success of its latest satellite. Sirius FM-6 is now successfully placed in orbit, and it's ready for service.

Pandora speaks
The leading streaming service announced its performance for the month of November. These metrics have become more magnetic than usual since Apple introduced iTunes Radio in mid-September.

When Pandora posted a sequential dip in users in October -- going to 70.9 million unique listeners from 72.7 million unique listeners in September -- it was easy to wonder if Apple's similar streaming service was eating into its growth.

Pandora made back most of that ground in November, closing out with 72.4 unique listeners. The total number of hours streamed were a new Pandora record. This is a competitive market, and it's only going to get more competitive, but Pandora appears to be holding its own in a market that Sirius XM is hoping to penetrate with its own premium streaming service.

Everyone's making waves
It was a busy week of news on the streaming front. Earlier in the week it was Beats Music -- the Beats Electronics spinoff fronted by Dr. Dre with Trent Reznor as Chief Creative Officer -- announcing that it was on track for a January launch.

Then we had Spotify schedule a media event for Dec. 11 -- that's this Wednesday -- where sources are saying that the popular premium streaming platform will introduce a free mobile access platform to compete with Pandora, Apple, and the other growing competitors.

There's never a dull moment in this market.

Sirius future
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull.

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The article This Week in Sirius XM originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Pandora Media. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Sirius XM Radio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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