SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer said the company’s in contract talks with star host Howard Stern, whose agreement expires at year end. He said he “knows what Howard wants” and is trying to make it work.
“I don’t want to be overly optimistic, but I want Howard here. …. This process isn’t any different to me than the last time, so we will keep working and we will get there I hope,” Meyer said on the company’s second quarter earnings call Thursday morning. Stern’s last contract was inked five years ago.
The stock popped on the numbers, up 2.5% in early trading.
“We will keep working at this and I am pretty sure at the next earings call we will have something to say,” Meyer added. He said that if Stern does leave, SiriusXM has the right to Stern’s library of shows for seven years. “That’s not what I would like. I want Howard on the air.”
Yesterday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, asked about Stern on a call, made a case for his service.
SiriusXM saw a steep 31% drop in advertising sales at Pandora to $211 million for the three months ended in June but said declines moderated over the quarter — down 41% in April, 36% in May and 18% in June year on year.
Subscription revenue at its core satellite broadcast business was flat at $1.5 billion
Consolidated sales dipped 5% to $1.8 billion from $1.9 billion for the quarter. Net income fell to $243 from $263 million. Earnings per share came in at $0.05 versus $0.06.
Meyer called the performance “extremely resilient” and ahead of internal expectations.
Sirius XM added approximately 264,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the second quarter. Self-pay monthly churn for the second quarter was 1.6%, down from 1.7% for the second quarter of 2019. Total net subscriber additions were negative 516,000, resulting in nearly 34.3 million total Sirius XM subscribers at the end of the period.
Paid promotional subscribers decreased due to declines in shipments from automakers offering paid trial subscriptions with the purchase or lease of a vehicle.
The company generated about $500 million free cash flow and said it’s poised for a strong finish to the year despite a surge in COVID-19. It has the financial resources to weather the ongoing ucertainty, Meyer said. Expanded podcast efforts, including the recent acquisitions of Stitcher, along with tech and sales capability will continue to drive growth.
The company noted talent it’s brought in, including Gayle King and Bruce Springsteen. Earlier this month, it debuted new channels from the Beastie Boys, Bob Marley, Coldplay, Queen, comedian Jim Gaffigan and U2.
SiriusXM is resuming financial guidance — which most companies have shelved for the last few quarters due to uncertainty in the business climate around COVID — and anticipates $7.7 billion in revenue for full year 2020, adjusted EBIDTA of $2.7 billion and free cash flow of $1.6 billion.
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