This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Satellite radio is always on the move with Sirius XM.

Jun 14, 2014 at 10:30AM

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) moved lower on the week, inching up 0.6% to close at $3.34. The move was in line with the Nasdaq's 0.2% dip. 

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Short interest on Sirius XM ballooned up to a 10-month high. On the streaming front, (NASDAQ:AMZN) finally introduced its potentially game-changing streaming music service.

Let's take a closer look.

Short people
Nasdaq publishes short interest twice a month, and its latest report was a doozy. The exchange revealed that a whopping 307.9 million shares were sold short as of the end of May. That's a dramatic spike from the 197.1 million shares shorted as of mid-May. 

You have to go all the way back to July of last year to find the last time Sirius XM had short interest this high. That's not a bad thing for those long the stock. It provides ammo for a short squeeze rally if Sirius XM delivers positive developments in the future. We'll have to wait another two weeks to see if the spike was just a fluke or part of an ongoing trend.

Prime time
Amazon's entry intro streaming music was rumored for months, and it became official on Thursday with the official unveiling of Prime Music. This is an important arrival for a few big reasons, but the thing working most in its favor is that it's an ad-free platform being made available to Amazon Prime members at no additional cost. 

Commercial-free tunes are Sirius XM's selling point over terrestrial radio, and they're also the incentive that streaming services use to snag premium signups. However, with at least 20 million Amazon Prime members out there, we now have a lot of people with streaming access to a lot of music without having an incremental cost. 

This would be problematic if it wasn't for its limitations. Not every major label is on board with the new service, and those that did sign up reportedly aren't making their newest releases available. Why give something away in a smorgasbord when there are download sales to score? This is still a potentially dangerous platform. Amazon claims to have more than a million tracks available, and a personal search found more than 1.2 million tunes on Prime Music. There are also dozens of playlists for those who prefer the traditional radio experience.

The only real surprise is that Amazon didn't wait until June 18 to introduce this service as part of its unveiling for its new device with an advanced display. Either way, tech giants are starting to take a big interest in digital music. It's not just the Beats acquisition. The New York Post reported this past weekend that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is in talks to buy Songza, offering $15 million to take out the curated streaming service with 5.5 million active users.

Are these moves turning tech giants into potential competitors for Sirius XM, or will it ultimately make Sirius XM, with its unique satellite-based platform that doesn't slurp data plan bandwidth, an appealing buyout candidate of its own? It wouldn't be a cheap purchase.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning -- it may shock you)
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Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple,, and Google (A and C shares) and owns shares of Apple,, Google (A and C shares), and Sirius XM Radio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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