SiriusXM Business

Gary S. Vasilash

According to Jim Meyer, president, Operations and Sales, SiriusXM, the satellite radio service that was launched 10 years ago, has passed the 50-million auto factory installation mark, as the radios have become available in nearly 70% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S.

Meyer said, “We expect to double factory installed vehicles to over 100-million by 2018 and plant to offer our unique content and valuable entertainment to even more customers in the future.”


Presently, SiriusXM has more than 22-million subscribers. Given that not all SiriusXM listeners are in a car when enjoying tunes or talk, it makes one wonder about the number of units in cars vis-à-vis the subscriber base of the company.

One of the big challenges for SiriusXM going forward is Internet radio. While many of the new vehicle introductions we’ve attended of late have SiriusXM as an offering, there tends to be greater emphasis for the newer kid on the display screen in the center stack, Pandora.

And iHeartRadio and other streaming services get attention, as well.

Given the number of people who are using smart phones and given the increasing ease of pairing those phones with auto infotainment systems, chances are there will be a tremendous growth in the use of streaming audio. While there may be issues related to the cost of data plans, they have to be weighed against the cost of subscribing to SiriusXM.

If we go into the Way Back Machine, we’ll recall that once automakers offered cell phones that were hardwired into the vehicle and secured in such a way that a pry bar would probably be insufficient to dislodge them. People—at least those who could afford to buy a car with such a device—usually had a portable cell phone, as well, which led to a situation where there was unhappiness with the redundancy of communications devices. So the car-based cell phones disappeared.

Could there be a parallel here?