Audio entertainment giant SiriusXM, the home of Howard Stern, said on Tuesday that it added 55,000 self-paying subscribers in its satellite radio unit in the fourth quarter, compared with the 407,000 additions recorded in the same period in 2020.
It also lost 286,000 paid promotional subscribers, compared with a loss of 128,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020. Overall, that meant a SiriusXM sub decline of 231,000 in the final quarter of the year, compared with a gain of 279,000 in the year-ago period.
The company lost 128,000 net self-pay subscribers in its Pandora music streaming business though and 2,000 paid promotional subscribers, ending 2021 with more than 6.93 million total users. In the fourth-quarter of 2020, it had lost 63,000 Pandora customers.
SiriusXM, controlled by John Malone‘s Liberty Media, said total SiriusXM users at the end of December stood at 34.03 million, including 32.04 million self-pay customers.
Fourth-quarter advertising revenue at Pandora rose 4 percent to $442 million. SiriusXM’s total quarterly revenue of $2.28 billion was up 4 percent from the year-ago period, with adjusted earnings before interest interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) climbing 2 percent to $672 million and the company touting record full-year adjusted EBITDA of $2.77 billion. Fourth-quarter net income of $318 million marked a swing from a $677 million loss in the same period of 2020.
“2021 was an outstanding year across the board,” said SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz. “We added more than 1 million net new SiriusXM self-pay subscribers for the 10th time in the past 11 years; this growth continues to be sustained by a fifth straight year of improving churn. Once again we outperformed all of 2021’s public guidance, and now our strong financial position enables us to declare a special cash dividend to our stockholders.”
Indeed, SiriusXM unveiled a special dividend of 25 cents per share, worth “an additional $1 billion” in returns to shareholders.
“Our performance last year is a testament to our strong execution – and staying true to our vision of connecting listeners to the content they love,” Witz also argued. “We collaborated with renowned and emerging creators across our platforms to deliver curated premium content both in- and out-of-car; and delivered value to our advertisers with effective solutions to reach a massive audience of more than 150 million listeners.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.