An In-Depth Look at Gross Subscriber Numbers
Now that the numbers are out, let's take a look at gross subscriber additions between both Sirius and XM.
Looking at gross subscriber additions is a more accurate way of looking at the trending of the industry and gives a better feel of the pulse of the market. It eliminates factors like churn, which as the subscriber base for each service increase, creates the illusion that industry growth has slowed. Yes, net subscriber additions are extremely important and are in fact the "true" indicator of growth, but gross gives us a look into market penetration.
So with explainations out of the way, let look at it shall we? For the 3rd quarter of 2006, here's how gross subscriber additions stacked up:
SIRIUS Gross Subscribers: 732,406
XM Gross Subscribers: 868,007
Now since we're talking about trending, let's take a historical look at gross subscriber additions per quarter, starting from the beginning of 2005:
Here's the data:
Of particular interest is how 2006 is trending. We all expected the spike in 4Q05, but since then it's been nothing but downhill. Ignoring the 4th quarter, let's look at the same periods in 2005 - there was nothing but growth. This is all the more reason why managing churn needs to be high on the priority list for both companies.
It's also a good thing that both companies have saved up their marketing cash for a big pop this quarter... the 4th quarter is going to need it.