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This Week in Sirius XM Radio

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Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) made the most of the short trading week, soaring 4.8% to close at $3.75. That was stronger than Nasdaq's otherwise impressive 2% gain on the week.

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Sirius XM also extended its deal to carry Fox News, there was encouraging news on the automotive front, and Pandora (NYSE: P  ) posted fresh monthly metrics.

Let's take a closer look.

Crazy like a Fox
Satellite-radio subscribers who prefer their politics leaning to the right were probably excited to learn that Sirius XM extended its deal with 21st Century Fox's (NASDAQ: FOX  ) popular news channel.

Sirius XM will now be carry Fox News through at least August 2019. The new deal also adds Fox Business Network. As much as I enjoy listening to CNBC and Bloomberg Radio on satellite radio, it never hurts to have another option.

Life is a highway
Automakers checked in with their August sales metrics, and it was a blowout performance. Just about every major car company posted double-digit percentage growth last month. The total of 1.5 million cars sold in August represents a healthy 17% gain from last August.

This is good news for Sirius XM. A lot of those buyers will check out the free trials that come with the cars equipped with satellite receivers, and history shows that Sirius XM will keep nearly half of those as paying accounts.

Panned on the run
The leading Internet radio provider offers up monthly metrics, and its glimpse into August shows the continuing trend of declining usage per listener. Pandora's number of active listeners rose 28% to 72.1 million, but actual listener hours rose only by 16% since last August.

Most of the decline can probably be explained by Pandora's decision earlier this year to cap mobile usage for free accounts. However, it recently reversed course on that decision. Now let's see whether listening begins growing faster than the listener count itself.

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

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  • Report this Comment On September 07, 2013, at 9:31 AM, zukerman wrote:

    I beg to differ, some things get dull. BROTHER! Why is it that when it comes to SAAR your all Mensa, but when it comes to your beloved Pandora you can't seem to produce a simple equation using the numbers provided? Listener numbers carried the day for some time and investors were willing to except the excuse that they sacrificed profit for growth, but the time has come to put up or shut up. Literally. Pandora gambled that their service was popular enough that subscriptions would be the result of the cap, wrong again. Pandora's model has been 360 after a decade and it's still not quite adjusted properly? With a model this difficult to tame, it wont take very much at all to produce declining numbers in the future. Stale excuses should make investors take notice this quarter and stop buying snake oil.

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