Here's an update to the 3Q06 charts published last Monday.
The chart below shows the raw numbers. As suggested Monday, the gap in the gross subs widened once again. The gap for 3Q06 is wider than anticipated. It is imperative that Sirius reverse this trend, if they are to meet the year end guidance. If the trends continue, and that's a big IF, then we could see XM become the net leader as well as the gross in two or three quarters.
On a percentage basis, the widening gap in the gross is more dramatic.
Sirius has shown that it has a few tricks up its sleeve. Perhaps there is a pent up demand in Hawaii and Alaska. Hey, every few subs count. They are pushing hard with the trade shows in December as well as in the first and second quarter next year. Pushing the internet radio along with Stern could bring in a number of subs. In addition, it appears that Chrysler is ramping up. IIRC, Sirius generally gets a bump in OEM additions in 4Q. And they have also been pushing the family plan. Karmazin has set an ambitious goal, but one way or the other, I suspect he will meet the goal.
Sirius also goes into the fourth quarter with a more complete line of radios. The only worry here is the reception of the FM modulated signal. We have seen the radios certified and re-certified and re-certified again. Whether this is just US versus Canadian versions or whether they are trying to resolve the reception issue is anyone's guess. XM has been taking it to Sirius with its Sure Connect system. Sirius has countered with similar technology, but apparently, XM thinks it has the better solution. If you are an XM iRep, you can take the training on the Sure Connect technology. If not, you can click the link to the left and sign up. It's free.
There are a number of radios that have been recently certified. It is imperative that both companies bring these to market in quantities as soon as possible. Sirius needs to attain better stock of the Stiletto; however, this probably won't be a main contributor until the price drops.
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