Arbitron Study of Satellite Radio Shows More Than 35 Million 'Premium' Listeners

Jan 14, 2010, 08:00 ET from SIRIUS XM Radio

NEW YORK, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SIRIUS XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) today announced the results of an Arbitron study of  satellite radio subscribers conducted in October and November 2009 that found listenership is larger than previously estimated and scores much higher on key demographic criteria compared to the general population and AM/FM radio listeners.

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Arbitron's study showed that more than 35 million total adult listeners tune in to SIRIUS XM, 32 million of which are weekly listeners. 

The study found SIRIUS XM listeners prefer satellite radio over other audio options available to them. Respondents indicated that the percent of total time spent listening to audio in general is 62% to SIRIUS XM, 16% to AM/FM, 4% to streaming internet, and 10% of the time using mobile devices. 

Arbitron found that in a typical day, SIRIUS XM listeners spend 2 hours and 45 minutes in their vehicle, which is significant, given that while they are in their cars, they spend 71% of their time listening to SIRIUS XM compared with 17% of their time listening to AM/FM radio, and 5% of the time using mobile devices.

Significantly, the Arbitron study revealed that past week SIRIUS XM listeners indexed higher on key audience attributes – education, income, and receptiveness:  

  • Highly-educated audience. 56% of SIRIUS XM listeners graduated from college or have advanced degrees compared with 24% of AM/FM radio listeners and 25% of the general population(1).  
  • Affluent listener base. 24% of SIRIUS XM listeners have household incomes of $150,000 or more compared with 9% of AM/FM radio listeners and 9% of the general population(2).
  • Highly receptive to commercials.  Of those who indicated they were more likely to change the channel when a commercial came on, in comparing SIRIUS XM and AM/FM radio, SIRIUS XM listeners are 61% more likely to stay with a commercial on satellite radio than with those that air on AM/FM radio stations.  

"This study proves what we at SIRIUS XM have known for years – not only do we have the best programming in radio, but we have some of the most valuable listeners in all of media," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SIRIUS XM.  "Our combination of unparalleled audio content and unrivaled in-car delivery continues to attract a discerning cross-section of Americans."

"In a time of divergent media and ever greater competition for consumers' attention, this Arbitron study leads national advertisers to a highly-prized premium consumer audience." said Kathleen Mahoney, Vice President, Market Research, SIRIUS XM. "We are proud to have this engaged and influential audience of more than 35 million people who passionately listen to SIRIUS XM more than four times longer than they do to AM/FM radio."

The Arbitron study excluded SIRIUS XM's music channels since they are commercial free. The study focused solely on SIRIUS XM's news, talk, entertainment, sports, and other commercial programming channels.  Arbitron found that listeners spent more than seven hours a week listening to these commercial channels on SIRIUS XM.

(1) Scarborough USA Plus, Release 1, 2009.

(2) Scarborough USA Plus, Release 1, 2009.

About SIRIUS XM Radio

SIRIUS XM Radio is America's satellite radio company delivering to subscribers commercial-free music channels, premier sports, news, talk, entertainment, and traffic and weather.

SIRIUS XM Radio has content relationships with an array of personalities and artists, including Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O'Donnell, Jamie Foxx, Barbara Walters, Opie & Anthony, Bubba the Love Sponge®, Bob Edwards, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, Jimmy Buffett, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. SIRIUS XM Radio is the leader in sports programming as the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, Major League Baseball®, NASCAR®, NBA, NHL®, and PGA TOUR® and major college sports.

SIRIUS XM Radio has arrangements with every major automaker. SIRIUS XM Radio products are available at and, and at retail locations nationwide, including Best Buy, RadioShack, Wal-Mart and independent retailers.

SIRIUS XM Radio also offers SIRIUS Backseat TV, the first ever live in-vehicle rear seat entertainment featuring Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network; XM NavTraffic® service for GPS navigation systems delivers real-time traffic information, including accidents and road construction, for more than 80 North American markets.

This communication contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the business combination transaction involving SIRIUS and XM, including potential synergies and cost savings and the timing thereof, future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations, products and services; and other statements identified by words such as "will likely result," " are expected to," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "intend," "will," "should," "may," or words of similar meaning.  Such forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of SIRIUS' and XM's management and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of SIRIUS and XM.  Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. 

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in the forward-looking statement: our substantial indebtedness; the businesses of SIRIUS and XM may not be combined successfully, or such combination may take longer, be more difficult, time-consuming or costly to accomplish than expected; the useful life of our satellites; our dependence upon automakers and other third parties; our competitive position versus other forms of audio and video entertainment; and general economic conditions.  Additional factors that could cause SIRIUS' and XM's results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in SIRIUS' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and XM's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, which are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and available at the SEC's Internet site (  The information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof, and SIRIUS and XM disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this communication.


Contacts for SIRIUS XM Radio:

Patrick Reilly


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