Bridge Ratings Report: Satellite Sales Slowing
October 2, 2006 at 5:58 AM (PT)
The latest BRIDGE RATINGS study of satellite radio subscribers calls the retail market for receivers "sluggish" and notes that sales have been light enough in recent weeks that the company has had to use more locations nationwide to achieve its target sample of 4,000 respondents.
Sales are off 29% from LABOR DAY weekend and were flat week-to-week last week after a 16% dive the week before. In addition, the survey found SIRIUS' retail lead softening, with its share at 54% after spending much of the summer above 60%, and sales highest among adults 25-54, with 18-21s interested but resisting due to cost.
Analyzing churn rates, 30% retail buyers said they would not renew their subscriptions when they expire and 15% were undecided, but 48% of OEM car radio subscribers would not resubscribe with 10% undecided. And the percentage of people saying they subscribed because of HOWARD STERN has dropped back to the 18% level after peaking at 38% on LABOR DAY, with BRIDGE estimating that SIRIUS added about 1.46 million subscribers as a result of STERN.
As a result of recent numbers, BRIDGE has reduced its projections to predict 7.9 million XM subscribers and 6.5 million for SIRIUS at the end of the year, and warns that if fourth quarter disappoints, the estimates may be high.
BRIDGE has also released a study of podcasting use and says listening rebounded in AUGUST across the demographic board after trending down earlier in the year. The company has revised its projections for podcast use downward considerably, with podcast use now projected to hit 18.4 million "ever" and 7.7 million weekly in 2010, off from AUGUST 2005's 2010 estimate of 22.9 million users. The study says that early adopters are listening less to podcasts while slower-to-adopt consumers are checking podcasts out and lean towards professionally-produced podcasts from broadcasters.