Sirius XM Price Increase Should Boost Revenue

| About: Sirius XM (SIRI)


Sirius bumps All Access price by $1 per month.

Also increases streaming add-on to $5.

Minimal immediate revenue impact.

Changes channel line-up.

Sirius XM Holdings (SIRI) raised some of its pricing plans. The company's most expensive plan - All Access (which includes Internet streaming) - was increased by 5% from $19.99 to $20.99, while its second most expensive plan - Select - was left unchanged at $15.99. Mostly Music at $10.99 was also left unchanged. The company has listed All Access, Select and Mostly Music as its most popular plans. Also increased was the Internet Streaming add-on which went from an extra $4.00 per month to an extra $5.00 per month.

Note that anyone that was interested in Select with the streaming add-on would pay the same amount as All Access, both before and after the price increases. And, it appears that there were simultaneous content changes to the pricing plans. For instance, All Access subscribers still get additional channels - Major League Baseball, the NBA and PGA Tour, but previously the three additional channels were NASCAR, Howard Stern and the NFL. These are now included in Select where previously one had to get all access to have these three channels.

For those only interested in music, the Mostly Music package is a cheaper alternative at $10.99. However, it excludes several of the more popular music channels, including The Beatles, E Street Radio, Grateful Dead, Garth Brooks and Tom Petty.

Sirius also publishes a chart showing the monthly Music Royalty Fees. There are a total of 40 different packages shown on the chart, and one can find that the All Access Music Royalty Fee has also been increased as of November 15th. This monthly rate also rose 5%, from $2.78 to $2.92. The total for All Access is now $23.91 plus taxes and fees, nearly double the pre-merger monthly rate of $12.95.

Since Sirius does not disclose the breakdown of its subscribers by payment plan, there is no way of knowing - even approximately - how much additional revenue could be generated from the latest price increases. And, it's not only having insufficient data to the breakout of the three most popular packages, there are also certain discounts after the first subscription in a household. Regardless, the price increase is unlikely to have a noticeable impact in Q4, and even in 2018 the impact will be muted as it will take time for the increase to roll through the self-pay subscribers as they come up for renewal.

From a subscriber perspective, there will be winners and losers. Baseball, golf and basketball fans may be forced to fork over an extra $5 per month. On the other side, Howard Stern, NFL and NASCAR fans can save money by downgrading from All Access to Select - assuming they are even aware of the change!

Disclosure: I am/we are long SIRI.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: I am currently long, although actively trading large blocks of shares to take advantage of small price movements.

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Tagged: , Broadcasting - Radio
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