By Amy Gilroy
Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) chief financial officer David Frear admitted by all appearances that the satellite radio company expects to convert to one platform — most likely XM.
At a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference Thursday Frear was asked, “Are you are you going to choose one operating platform?”
Frear did not say “no.” He said this:
…The advantage of the XM platform is that 60 percent of the auto industry is already on it, so if you’re going to try and get all of your electronics manufacturing on one platform, it’s easier to have 40 percent flip to what 60 percent are doing….but at the end of the day it’s a decision to be made by the auto makers. We’ll certainly encourage them to go in a direction…
This may be a 10 year process however. Frear continued,
It’s a long term implementation. The exciting part of it is really 10 years out. We would ultimately be able to open up one set of spectrum for another set of revenue generating purposes.”
This confirms what a number of industry sources have told us in the past and a trusty source confirmed today. Sirius XM is looking to gradually steer new and current customers to the XM platform. The company sees this as a very long term migration, but it wants to get it done.
We have to admit that one Sirius XM executive denied the move to XM to us about a month ago.
So call us crazy, but the movement to XM seems to be a foot.
Frear also said there are currently 32 to 33 million satellite radios in cars on the road. By 2015, that number will multiply to 70 million and the opportunity to turn on radios in second hand cars will be huge.
If Sirius XM is to shift to XM, then millions of consumers with Sirius radios will be shut out, according to our trusty source. It is possible that Sirius XM, after years of pushing XM over to Sirius, could finally offer a special deal on Sirius radios to get the job done.
There was no immediate response to our inquiry on the matter today from Sirius XM.