The number of subscribers of broadcaster Sirius XM Radio Inc. increased as the auto industry continues to recover after the recession in 2009. The New York-based satellite radio company posted a record 20.6 million subscribers for the first quarter that ended March 31. This stands for a 9% jump compared to the 18.9 million subscribers Sirius XM posted a year ago.
Sirius said that during the first quarter, a net 373,062 subscribers were added. This is a 118% increase over the 171,441 subscribers it recorded for the same period the previous year.
In addition, Sirius XM reported $78.1 million in net income, higher by 88% over the $41.6 million net profit it had in the first quarter of last year.
Its revenue also rose to $724 million in the first quarter of 2011 compared with $664 million in the first quarter of 2010. CEO Mel Karmazin released a statement, saying that he believes the increases are due largely to the auto sales recovery as well as the increase in the number of vehicles that provide satellite radio capability.
He said that consumers have gone back to purchasing cars again and that there’s a strong demand for its products.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that Sirius XM's gains in subscribers had outpaced the growth of U.S. auto sales by a far margin. For the first quarter of 2011, U.S. light-vehicle sales increased to 3.1 million vehicles, a 20% increase over the first quarter of 2010.
Sirius said that of its 20.6 million total subscribers, almost 3.8 million (18.3%) received subscriptions paid by automakers. He added that of its 373,062 new subscribers, about two-thirds of the subscriptions were paid by auto manufacturers. But for the same period last year, 59% were paid by automakers.