SiriusBuzz All Things SiriusXM Satellite Radio Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:16:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SiriiusXM Gets Initial Ruling On Royalty Suit Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:34:00 +0000 → Read More]]> new-gavelSiriusXM received a bit of positive news recently when a Judge hearing the lawsuit vs. SoundExchange ruled that the royalty matter relating to pre-1972 music should be determined by the CRB royalty board instead of in Federal Court.   U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon , in his ruling this past Tuesday stated that the issue is a matter of jurisdiction and that it should be handled by CRB under the primary jurisdiction doctrine.  The impact here could have impact on the Flo and Eddie case, which are suing for royalties of their work, much of which is pre 1972.

SiriusXM pays SoundExchange royalties based on revenue, but backs out revenue generated from pre-1972 music because it is not covered under federal law. 

“Unfortunately for SoundExchange, the gross revenue exclusions are ambiguous and do not, on their face, make clear whether Sirius XM’s approaches were permissible under the regulations,” he wrote.

“The technical and policy expertise of the CRB makes referral to that body appropriate.  These are issues which, under a regulatory scheme, have been placed within the special competence of an administrative body.”

While the dispute certainly is not over, there is a direction for a decision to be made.  It is indeed crystal clear that Federal law does not cover the music in question.  In the case of Flo and Eddie, who had the popular song “Happy Together” the case is in state court.  States have differeing laws regarding copyright law.

As most readers are aware, there is no royalty payment made by AM and FM radio, under the antiquated concept that radio airplay helps promote record sales.  Royalties have been at issue for years now and reform is needed to give all parties their fair shake and a level playing field.

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Anthony Cumia Launches Podcast Show Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:34:54 +0000 → Read More]]> anthonyEmbattled radio host Anthony Cumia has launched his podcast show and subscribers can now hear the opinionated host any time they want.  Cumia will do 4 shows a week live from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.  Better yet… it is no longer just radio.  That’s right, the Anthony Cumia show is recorded in HD for your listening AND viewing pleasure.

Cumia was fired from SiriusXM just prior to July 4th for a series of Tweets he sent on his personal time involving a confrontation with a woman in Times Square.  The Tweets were said to have racial and violent undertones.  Cumia was the “Anthony” in the Opie & Anthony show.  Opie remains on the air at SiriusXM with other longtime show host Jim Norton.  The contract for the Opie & Anthony Show expires in October, and as yet there has been no news about what will ultimately happen.  While some fans would certainly like to see a reunion of Opie, Anthony, and Jim, it would simply be speculation at this stage.  Personally I think that Cumia will stand alone for a while.

The Anthony Cumia Show can be accessed by visiting  The show is subscription based and costs just $6.95 per month, $32.95 for 6 months, or $59.95 for a year.  It is estimated that Cumia made million at SiriusXM.  The move to his own show and platform is interesting in that very few people are able to make meaningful money from podcasting.  For perspective, it would take almost 12,000 monthly subscribers for a year to bring in just $1 million.  Certainly a talent like Anthony Cumia can attract an audience, but the big pay-days will be much harder now.  That being said, a lot of what Cumia does is because he is passionate and is not driven by dollars.

Have you seen or heard the show?  Let your thoughts be known!

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SiriusXM To Launch Pitbull Channel in 2015 Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:44:37 +0000 → Read More]]> pitbullSiriusXM announced today it has joined forces with global music superstar Pitbull to create a channel featuring music by the international pop star as well as his personal musical selections.  The move is the latest in a series of exclusive content offerings that the satellite radio platform uses to differentiate itself from its competitors.  The new channel will be curated by Pitbull and will feature music from across multiple genres exclusively for SiriusXM listeners.  In addition, the channel will be anchored by a weekly show hosted by Pitbull himself.  If you have not figured it out yet, the channel will feature a lot of Pitbull’s own music.  Pitbull’s channel is scheduled to debut in early 2015.

“We are thrilled to team up with Pitbull in the creation of this exciting new music channel that will reach his massive audience.  Pitbull is truly ‘Mr. Worldwide,’ and his music and collaborations have drawn legions of fans who will now have access to a full-time channel that he is creating especially for them,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.  “Pitbull will bring the excitement and energy of his live appearances to the channel, only on SiriusXM.”

“First of all, I want to thank SiriusXM for the opportunity to touch my fans in a more personal way,” said Pitbull (Armando Christian Perez). “I will also get a chance to play all the music that I love and grew up listening – most of all, we are going to have a lot of fun in the process – so, preparense [get ready] y daleeeeee.”

Armando Christian Perez aka Pitbull is a musician, performer, entrepreneur, and actor with career sales in excess of 5 million albums and over 60 million singles worldwide.  Pitbull has had #1 hits in more than 15 countries, his videos have over 5 billion views and his social reach exceeds 78 million followers.  His latest album, Global Warming: Meltdown features the hit singles “Feel This Moment” with Christina Aguilera, “Don’t Stop The Party,” “Back In Time” and his second #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart “Timber” featuring Ke$ha.  Pitbull’s world tours have sold out concerts in North and South America, Europe, and the Far East.  Recently, Pitbull performed the official anthem “We Are One (Ole Ola)” with Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte at the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.  A burgeoning entrepreneur, Pitbull has his own line of premium vodkas (Voli); partnerships with Playboy Enterprises and Sheets, the dissolvable energy strip; and, premier fragrances for men and women.  He recently confirmed a fall co-headline U.S./Canada arena tour with Enrique Iglesias.

]]> 0 Liberty Media Now Controls 56% of SiriusXM Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:49:41 +0000 → Read More]]> libertymediaThe ownership of Liberty Media in SiriusXM has been able to increase even while the company sold shares back to SiriusXM.  This happened because SiriusXM is in the midst of a share buyback program that has the company buying up shares in both the open market as well as private agreements.  SiriusXM’s stock has been in a funk ever since early this year when Liberty floated a buyout offer that the media giant ultimately pulled off of the table.  Previously Liberty Media ownership in SiriusXM was at the 53% level.

If Liberty Media does not participate in the $2 billion in share buybacks that SiriusXM recently announced, the company could be looking at an ownership level in the neighborhood of 60%.  If there was ever any question about who really controls SiriusXM, there should no longer be a doubt. One interesting concept is that Liberty has even more ability to garner cash from SiriusXM share buybacks without being in danger of falling below 50% interest in the company.

In my opinion the confidence of Liberty Media in SiriusXM will be illustrated in whether or not the company decides to sell any of its stake in the new buyback plan.  If Liberty sells but remains above 50% then they will be demonstrating a desire to maintain control.  If Liberty does not participate, then they may have interests in making another potential run at complete control.

Liberty’s recent spin-offs cleans up the equity for a potential offer at some point down the road.  The last time SiriusXM and Liberty did a deal to buy back shares from Liberty, Liberty received the better bargain with a guaranteed price above that which the equity was trading at when the deal was finalized.  It was frustrating for SiriusXM shareholders to see the company paying a premium.  The fact that Liberty was actually able to increase ownership levels as well as obtain a premium throws a little salt in the wounds.

The next few quarters will be interesting to watch.  Investors will want to pay attention to Liberty Media’s stock price as well as SiriusXM’s.  In addition, investors will want to pay close attention to any share buying deals between Liberty and SiriusXM.  I was a proponent of the original Liberty offer that was on the table in January of this year.  I would likely be a fan of another deal should it arise.

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July Auto Sales Strong, But Below Expectations Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:14:58 +0000 → Read More]]> ford-edge_sport_2011_1024x768_wallpaper_01The headlines for auto sales in July of 2014 will read in a disappointing fashion, but the reality is that overall we saw a 9% gain over last year.  Expectations were for a gain of about 11%, which is why the street seems to feel that the sales in July were a miss.  The industry sold almost 1.43 million cars in the month, and July was actually about 11,000 units better than June.

For satellite radio, the numbers for July were very positive.  The mid summer action in the new car channel has been a big boost in seeing the installation of more radios than we have seen in years.  If SiriusXM is able to keep the conversion rate above 42%, we should be able to see the company easily meet guidance.

July did bring a slight dip in the automakers that count subscribers at the time of manufacture, but the dip in that category went to the point of sale manufactures.  The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate for July was 16.6 million.  Analysts are anticipating 2014 auto sales to come in above 16 million, something which has not happened in years.

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SiriusXM Kicks Off NFL Training Camp Season Coverage Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:40:17 +0000 → Read More]]> wpid-nfl-logo.jpgSiriusXM will kick off its 10th annual SiriusXM NFL Radio Training Camp Tour today, July 25, broadcasting live from all 32 NFL teams’ training camps and giving fans the most comprehensive radio coverage available as the 2014 NFL season approaches.  Football has been a satellite radio staple since the early days of the service and the coverage offered is something that passionate fans of football have gravitated to for years.  Seeing the top caliber coverage continue is a testament to SiriusXM as well as the NFL.

SiriusXM NFL Radio hosts will broadcast live on location from each training camp site, giving listeners around the country an in-depth look at their favorite teams and players as they prepare for the coming season. The series will present an expert breakdown of every roster, interviews with players, coaches, and reports on rookies and veterans. A schedule detailing show times, hosts and locations appears at

Hosts on tour include former NFL team executives Bill Polian, Gil Brandt, Pat Kirwan and Phil Savage, former players Rich Gannon, Jim Miller, Ross Tucker, Amani Toomer, Anthony “Booger” McFarland, Takeo Spikes and Brad Hopkins, plus Alex Marvez, Bob Papa, Bruce Murray, Jeff Rickard, and more.

On Saturday, August 2, SiriusXM NFL Radio will present live coverage from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, for the 2014 enshrinement ceremonies. Listeners will hear coverage of the induction of the class of 2014, which includes Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.

Yes, it is the middle of summer, but these days, football is a year round news topic for the ever-growing passionate fan base of the NFL.  It wont be long before we start to see pre-season games, and then the regular season!  Stay Tuned!

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SiriusXM In Hot Water Over Mailing Envelopes Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:13:36 +0000 → Read More]]> gavel-handSiriusXM has had its share of spats with consumer advocate groups regarding marketing practices over the years.  There have also been a handful of lawsuits centered around people receiving unwanted communications from the satellite radio provider, and suits complaing that SiriusXM is obtaining personal information about car buyers.  This latest lawsuit takes the cake though — SiriusXM is being hauled into court for allegedly stealing the patented envelope design of CCAH.

You may not have heard of CCAH, but you have likely seen their envelopes.  The company designs and markets their “Urgent Gram” envelops to many companies across the United States.  Essentially it is an envelope designed to look very official.  The official look of the envelope almost ensures that a greater number of people will actually open it.  CCAH is a direct marketing powerhouse and over the past 7 years over 8 million “Urgent Gram” envelopes have been shipped.

7-21 urgent1

The photo above shows a depiction of what a typical CCAH “Urgent Gram” looks like.  As you can see, the envelope itself does not really offer the consumer an indication of what is inside.  The design relies on a persons natural curiosity to open up the envelope and find out what is so urgent and official.  Like it or not, the design and concept is pretty slick and likely very effective at increasing the odds of a consumer opening the envelope instead of simply tossing it in the trash as yet another piece of junk mail.

CCAH makes its money when clients pay to use the design.  Since 1996 CCAH has grossed about $22 million on the mailing of 21 million envelopes.  SiriusXM must have thought the idea was a good one and emulated the design for its own marketing efforts.

7-21 urgent2

The big problem here is that SiriusXM (they may have hired a marketing company, who would be the ultimate culprit) did not bother to change details like the “package tracking number”, The “Special Notes On Enclosure”, or even the initials “KC” of the “person” that sent out the urgent notice.  It would appear that SiriusXM has gotten itself into a little hot water on this one!

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SiriusXM Announces More Share Buy-Backs Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:19:04 +0000 → Read More]]> money-cash-up-arrow-line SiriusXM has announced that its Board of Directors has approved an additional $2 billion common stock repurchase program.  In total, the share buy-back program now carries an overall value of $6 billion.

The announcement did not state whether Liberty Media, the majority holder of SiriusXM share would participate in the program, but did list it as an option.

If Liberty does not participate its ownership percentage would increase as shares are removed from the market.  I anticipate that Liberty Media and SiriusXM will negotiate some transactions that could buy back shares from Liberty.  This would, in effect, allow Liberty to gain some cash from its SiriusXM stake without having to dip below 50% ownership.

Shares of common stock may be purchased from time to time on the open market and in privately negotiated transactions, including in accelerated stock repurchase transactions and transactions with Liberty Media and its affiliates.  The Company will fund the repurchases through cash on hand, future cash flow from operations and future borrowings.

SiriusXM’s Board of Directors approved a $2 billion common stock repurchase program in December 2012 and supplemented that authorization with the approval of an additional $2 billion common stock repurchase program in October 2013.  The new approval increases to an aggregate of $6 billion the amount of common stock SiriusXM has been authorized to repurchase.

The announcement of the extension of the repurchase program reflects the Board’s desire to continue to return value to stockholders and its confidence in the long-term growth prospects of the Company’s business.  SiriusXM retains sufficient capital capacity to continue making long-term investments in its programming, research and development initiatives and overall operations, as well as to pursue strategic opportunities that may arise.

The news of continued share buy-backs was well received by the street and the amount of shares being repurchased is impressive.  SiriusXM stock has been very stagnant in 2014, and perhaps this is the best way, at the moment, to increase shareholder value.

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Live Nation Partners With Yahoo To Air Concerts Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:25:09 +0000 → Read More]]> livenationIf you thought that Liberty Media’s interest in SiriusXM and Live Nation would bring about some synergistic qualities you may well be wrong — at least at this stage.  In a deal announced Friday, Live Nation is broadcasting an impressive 365 concerts on it Yahoo! channel on Yahoo Screen.  The concept is simple.  Live Nation has some desired music content video and Yahoo provides the outlet for it.  The deal brings added exposure to both companies.  Meanwhile SiriusXM is remaining a service dominated by satellite streaming of music while not seizing web based opportunity.

The live concert streams will kick off on July 15 with “A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band” at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The show will feature the group delivering two sets, performing together in numerous electric and acoustic configurations in a reinvention of the traditional DMB summer evening.

Additional artists confirmed for the new channel include: Usher, Gavin DeGraw, Common, The Neighbourhood, MKTO, The Kooks, Airborne Toxic Event, Three Days Grace, The Fray and many more. The Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen will also feature special performances including:

  • Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, KISS, streaming live from their 40th Anniversary Tour;
  • John Legend performing Marvin Gaye’s classic album, “What’s Going On” in its entirety, with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the Los Angeles Philharmonic live from the Hollywood Bowl; and
  • Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids performing their first ever concert in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen fuses together global superstars and emerging artists across genres, from rock to pop, hip hop to electronic.  Is it just me, or would this have been a natural fit video broadcasting on SiriusXM’s website while simulcasting on select channels or perhaps, dare I say it, a Live Nation channel on SiriusXM? What  would be better than giving people a sample of what satellite radio can be all about, while keeping existing users on SiriusXM instead of seeing them drift off elsewhere to get the content they want?  The cross-promotion opportunities would be almost endless!

Music fans can get a sneak peak at the first 30 days of scheduled performances by going to Starting Monday, July 14, they can sign up for text, email and calendar reminders for the concerts they want to watch — and invite their friends to tune in, as well. Fans will have the freedom to stream concerts wherever they are through Yahoo Screen on iOS, Android, mobile Web, desktop, and Smart TV platforms including AppleTV, Roku and Xbox 360.

Live moments are the most memorable — whether it’s your favorite band’s performance of a lifetime, that amazing last-second goal that crowns the world champion, or an unforgettable acceptance speech that goes viral. And in today’s on-demand entertainment environment, live experiences are the only ones that we all share together, at the same time,” said Kathy Savitt, CMO of Yahoo. “Together with Live Nation, we are excited to bring millions of fans together to share these moments through the new Yahoo Live experience.”

Can you imagine SiriusXM as the platform for music discovery, band discovery, and social interaction?  There was a day when this seemed quite possible, but I fear it is evaporating before my eyes.  When the proposed deal with Liberty Media was announced in January I was having to hold myself back from getting too excited about the wealth of possibility.  Perhaps it can still happen, but as yet SiriusXM has not seemed to take a big step like this.  Consider the statement below:

Live Nation produces more than 23,000 annual shows for 60 million fans globally. With the Live Nation Channel on Yahoo we are bringing these amazing artists with great production to the 800 million monthly Yahoo fans. This channel will create a powerful new way for artists to continue to grow their global fanbase,” said Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment.

In addition to the biggest collection of concert live streams available on the Web, the Live Nation Channel and Yahoo Screen will feature an on-demand catalog of songs on video and hundreds of insider vignettes including behind-the-scenes footage, artist interviews and more.  Again, this would have been a tremendous way to bring SiriusXM to the masses.  Perhaps in due time.

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Jenny McCarthy To Join SiriusXM Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:53:19 +0000 → Read More]]> Jenny Being Dirty, Sexy, and Funny!SiriusXM announced today that Jenny McCarthy will host a live, limited-run, one-hour weekly series exclusively on SiriusXM starting on Wednesday, July 16 on SiriusXM Stars.  The satellite radio provider is ramping up the talk content pressure by adding compelling content that differentiates itself from other services.

In her new series, Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy, McCarthy will use her trademark humor and outspoken style to discuss topics such as parenting, sex, dating and marriage; inviting celebrity guests and friends, as well as the audience to jump into the conversation with her. Guests scheduled to appear include Chelsea Handler, Perez Hilton, and Jenny’s fiance Donnie Wahlberg.  There will certainly be more high profile guests along the way, and don’t look for Jenny to hold anything back!

“It’s no secret that I love to talk. I’m excited to do it on SiriusXM without having to interrupt anyone or keep things clean. You can bet your sweet ass this show will live up to its title,” said Jenny McCarthy.

The comments from SiriusXM management are encouraging but will likely have fans of Opie & Anthony scratching their heads, seeing that SiriusXM fired Anthony Cumia on July 3rd for an incident that did not even happen on the air!

“Jenny’s no holds barred style and playful personality is sure to entertain listeners. We are excited to welcome her and offer her a platform to have uncensored, unscripted conversations about the topics she’s passionate about,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.

Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy will air each Wednesday, starting July 16, at 6:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Stars.

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