We think SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer meant that as a compliment. After quoting from a recent Jacobs Media study that showed how much time consumers spent listening to radio in their vehicles — and how often they listened to SiriusXM — Meyer wanted to remind investors that the satellite company’s main competitor is radio, not pure-play streamers. He said, “Terrestrial radio is still the 800-pound gorilla in the room.” And he said a lot more.
Meyer reminded investors that radio is, by far, SiriusXM’s largest competitor because not everyone is willing to pay to listen to radio. “Most people that don’t subscribe at the end of a trial do so because they don’t want to pay for radio. When subscribers churn, research shows they are overwhelmingly turning to free, ad-supported terrestrial radio. I’d like to remind investors that we are not locked into a zero sum battle with streaming players. Like a proverbial ice cube melting in Alaska, terrestrial radio isn’t going anywhere quickly. It will remain a massive, slow-moving, yet still widely used incumbent, that we at SiriusXM and streaming entrants can continue growing against for years to come. We have a have a huge potential here to provide a better bundle of radio to those who are willing to pay.”
Meyer also emphasized, several times, the ease of use and how important that is to consumers. Perhaps a shot at streaming players, which are not yet as easy to use as a satellite-installed radio or over-the-air radio, with all the connections and app call-ups on the phone that still need to be made. He said ease of use is paramount and you are never going to need an instruction manual to use SiriusXM.