Radio Wars: Internet Stream Vs. Satellite Beam - Research Report Pandora Media Inc. and Sirius XM Radio Inc.

Will Pandora's rapidly rising subscriber base become a threat to Sirius?

Jan 23, 2013, 08:00 ET from National Traders Association

NEW YORK, January 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

As Internet access is becoming almost a necessity for everyone, newcomer internet radio company, Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE: P) [Full Research Report][1], emerges as a serious competitor for satellite radio company, Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) [Full Research Report][2].

Sirius XM, the largest radio broadcaster in the world based on revenue, has its biggest selling point in the auto industry, as many car makers are producing vehicles with factory-installed Sirius XM receivers. But with the booming online invasion, most vehicles today are also installed with Internet connection, allowing Pandora, which is relatively new to the industry, to catch up.

As one of the major Internet radio providers, Pandora is tapping into the automobile radio market, now available on more than 1,000 integrations, including vehicles and handheld devices. Establishing itself in the automotive market, Pandora challenges Sirius XM's biggest selling point.

70 percent of new vehicles have Sirius XM receivers, the company relies on this 70 percent to earn a major part of its revenue, and only a fraction from advertising, as Sirius XM is known to offer commercial-free music. Pandora, on the other hand, relies on advertising for revenues, as well as on its growing subscriber base.

Watch out for the Fairness Bill

Based on revenue, Sirius XM leads with more than $3 billion in annual revenue, while Pandora only has 1 million paid subscribers, expecting to generate $424 million in revenue in 2013. But when it comes to audience size, Pandora has 60 million subscribers, while Sirius XM only has 24 million subscribers. The yet to be approved Internet Radio Fairness Act can help Pandora increase its profits. 16 percent of its revenues go to paying royalties, while Sirius XM only pays 8 percent. If royalty rates are lowered, thanks to the Internet Radio Fairness Act, Sirius XM will be facing greater challenges from Pandora.

As an emerging company with already 60 million subscribers, Pandora has a bright future. The migration of music audiences to mobile devices and online vehicle radios threaten to overturn the market that Sirius dominates today. As the online invasion becomes inevitable, more innovations will be introduced, specifically innovations that involve the convenience of Internet use.

"Internet-enabled radio in the car has already begun," Pandora Chief Executive Officer Joe Kennedy said. "It will grow as a snowball, initially small but growing exponentially." While Sirius XM receivers have satellites that deliver strong signals and high audio quality, they are still susceptible to disruptions. Satellite radio is also likely to fade due to the widespread availability of faster and better Internet connection in cars. If Sirius XM (and other satellite radio companies for this matter) does not want to be left behind, it needs to reinvent and give in to the online hype.

Reference Links:

[1]   The Full Research Report on Pandora Media, Inc. - including full detailed breakdown, analyst ratings and price targets - is available to download free of charge at: []

[2]   The Full Research Report on Sirius XM Radio Inc. - including full detailed breakdown, analyst ratings and price targets - is available to download free of charge at: []

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SOURCE National Traders Association