View Poll Results: How many subscribers will Sirius XM lose if Howard Stern retires?

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  • 100,000

    0 0%
  • 250,000

    0 0%
  • 500,000

    1 14.29%
  • 1,000,000

    3 42.86%
  • More than 1 million

    3 42.86%
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Thread: How many subscribers would leave Sirius XM if Howard Stern retired?

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  1. #1
    SiriusBuzz is offline
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    How many subscribers would leave Sirius XM if Howard Stern retired?

    How many subscribers do you guys think would leave Sirius XM if Howard Stern retired? I think the effect could be devastating on the company although the saving grace could be that a lot of his die hard fans bought lifetime subscriptions when he signed on. What do you guys think?

    Would Bubba The Love Sponge replace him on that channel?

    Do you think he will renew?
    Charles LaRocca
    SiriusBuzz Founder

  2. #2
    Sirius Roadkill is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiriusBuzz View Post
    How many subscribers do you guys think would leave Sirius XM if Howard Stern retired? I think the effect could be devastating on the company although the saving grace could be that a lot of his die hard fans bought lifetime subscriptions when he signed on. What do you guys think?
    In some ways this goes back to an article Tyler published about a month or so ago that dealt with how subscribers are counted . . . a question was posted to the article wondering how many "unique" subscribers there are and the question was dismissed out-of-hand with a reply on the order of "a subscription is a subscription"

    I disagree with that assessment. Knowing the number of "unique" subscribers is a vitally important metric for advertisers in measuring reach. If I am "Spongetech" I most certainly would insist that management disclose how many unique subscribers have the potantial of hearing my message before I would sign a contract.

    What if the 15+ million subscribers we have now is composed of 3 million Howard Stern fans with an average of 2 subscriptions each? That leaves 9 million subscribers who are fans of other programming . . and a good number of those will have more than 1 sub.

    Is it possible that the number of "unique" subscribers is really under 10 million?

    Why won't management reveal this figure??

    In the end, the lifetime subs are already paid for which as Charles points out would buffer some of the Stern loss . . it would be interesting to know what the normal uselful lifespan of a receiver is?

    Stern is an important asset of the company. Thus far management has done near next to nothing in leveraging that valuable brand to the benefit of shareholders. If Stern does re-up . . . do not be surprised to see a heavily front-loaded contract or hugh signing bonus which "could" be taken as another of this Company's now infamous "one-time-charges"

    If Stern leaves . . the company suffers heavy subscriber losses which effects earnings which effects share price
    If Stern stays . . . the contract he will command will adversely effect earnings which effects share price

    Pick your poison

  3. #3
    Jeffw6864 is offline
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    My hunch is HS will re-sign for 2 or 3 more years. He may also contribute to producing shows for his channels, once retired, in some capacity. I doubt if he'll want to play chess for his entire retirement.

    In 4 to 5 more years, let's hope the subscriber base is much, much higher and SiriusXM can buffer the loss of the hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

    I know one of the reasons I subscribe to SXM is for his show, but I am definitely staying because of the variety and quality of the service.

  4. #4
    john is offline
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    Sirius Roadkill, I believe Stern is responsible for about 3.2 million subs. That being said I dont think that many leave if he did. He was the hook that got them there. I personally find the playboy channel to be way more funny then Stern. The crap they get away with is amazing and could never be copied by Slacker/Pandora. Anyway people may have come for Stern but will stay for the rest.



    As for what he gets I think it is something in between, he gets less then 100 million a year but gets more of a share of ad revenue from his channels. In a sense it will be less money but will save face for Stern. He will never retire, (his ego is to big for that) that is just a tactic he is using as a bargining chip.

  5. #5
    imromo24 is offline
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    unique subscribers can't be counted....i have 2 on my account, one for me, one for a friend in florida...thats 2 unique listeners but 1 account.

  6. #6
    Sirius Roadkill is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Sirius Roadkill, I believe Stern is responsible for about 3.2 million subs. Anyway people may have come for Stern but will stay for the rest.
    john . . I agree with your numbers. I just wonder how many Stern fans have more than 1 sub (for example 1 in the dash\1 in the house or on the net). I would bet there are quite a few. You are right that most would probably stay but would they also consider dropping 1 of their non-lifetime multisubs if Stern leaves?

    romo . . I would think your scenario is probably the exception but admit that there is difficulty in counting unique "listeners"

    As an example, the health club where I work out has XM . . . at any given time there are 40-50 people in the weight room . . . all unique listeners, if not subscribers.

    Three things with the Stern contract will bug me:

    1.) The money . . . which Mel says he would have never paid.

    2.) How the money will be distributed and or possibly front-loaded . . . although john raises an interesting option of paying "points" in an incentive based contract (which I kind of like)

    3.) What Stern will say about the contract process on-air if it drags out . . . will he start promo-ing his big move back to terrestrial as a negotiating ploy?

    Finally, a Stern departure would not play well in the MSM which I have no doubt would wreak havoc on share price until clarity in sub losses could be obtained . . .

  7. #7
    Sirius Roadkill is offline
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    . . . 1 more thing . . . of course it wouldn't just be the lost sub revenue we would be dealing with but a substantial chunk of ad revenue as well . . .

    has anyone tried to quantify the "Stern Revenue Stream"

    If we could put forward a reasonable estimate of "Stern Revenue" then we could model several different scenarios of sub loss/ad loss versus cost of renewing Stern's contract . . absent of course of his value contribution to goodwill (too subjective to estimate)

  8. #8
    JohnnyIrishXM is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Roadkill View Post
    . . . 1 more thing . . . of course it wouldn't just be the lost sub revenue we would be dealing with but a substantial chunk of ad revenue as well . . .

    has anyone tried to quantify the "Stern Revenue Stream"

    If we could put forward a reasonable estimate of "Stern Revenue" then we could model several different scenarios of sub loss/ad loss versus cost of renewing Stern's contract . . absent of course of his value contribution to goodwill (too subjective to estimate)

    The company took in 69MIL net for 2008 ad revenue..not alot..total that is.

  9. Ad Fairy Senior Member

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