UK analyst looks at three audio services


Money, a London-based financial analyst, looked at a satellite audio company, an internet company and an over-the-air company, and said that prospects looked good in all sectors for those that can grow audience while controlling costs. It had especially kind words for Emmis Communications.

Emmis was the over-the-air company, and unsurprisingly, the satellite and internet companies where Sirius XM and Pandora, respectively.

StockCall noted that much of this particular battle is taking place inside of automobiles, and the prospects for sales growth in the automotive field actually bode well for audio services. It also said that despite fierce competition between companies in the three audio platforms, there still seems to be room for growth across the board.

Emmis was said to have done a “stellar” job of late, with its recent report of a 5% gain in pro forma net revenue cited. It was also praised for cutting expenses and reworking its financing in such a way as to lower interest expense as well. Its 19 FMs and three AMs were said to position the company as the ninth largest in the US in terms of total listeners.

Sirius XM has been gaining subscribers, and part of that has been due to its success getting its receivers into vehicles at the factory stage of their life. StockCall said that if car sales pan out as predicted it could be a very good year for the satcaster.

Pandora is said to be available in some 85 different vehicle models and has been used in-car by a million listeners. It also has a subscriber growth arrow pointing upward.

StockCall concluded, “While competition remains lively, at present there appears to be enough room for companies that deliver radio across a diverse range of mediums to excel. Keeping costs down will certainly play a factor in how companies are able to grow their business moving forward. However, with sales increasing for many industry players, the outlook is positive at this time.”