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Radio News (more headlines) 04-17-2006

SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Web Site Sees Triple Digit Year-Over-Year Growth, Outpacing

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Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that Web traffic to SIRIUS Satellite Radio grew an impressive 188 percent year over year, increasing from 666,000 unique visitors in March 2005 to 1.9 million in March 2006 (see Table 1).

Concurrent with Howard Stern's January 2006 debut on SIRIUS, SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Web site traffic surpassed XM Satellite Radio's Web site traffic for the first time, drawing 2.3 million unique visitors compared to XM's 1.6 million.

SIRIUS continued to outpace its primary competitor online in February and March. Nevertheless, XM Satellite Radio saw strong year-over-year growth as well, climbing 47 percent, from 1.2 million unique visitors last March to 1.7 million in March of this year.

"The satellite radio market is enjoying vibrant growth, due to increasing interest among first time subscribers," said Jon Gibs, senior director of media, Nielsen//NetRatings. "While SIRIUS has seen significant growth specifically due to Howard Stern's programming, both services benefit from individuals going to their site, not just to sign up for service, but also to listen to content while they are without their players," he continued.

The "Stickiness" Factor
In addition to growing Web traffic, both SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio are enjoying increased consumer loyalty, due to streaming online content. In March, SIRIUS and XM saw an average of 3.5 and 3.7 sessions per person, respectively. This return visitation rate places the Web sites of these satellite radio providers on par with other popular streaming audio sites, including Rhapsody, Clear Channel Music Radio Network, and MSN Radio. The average time spent per person at the SIRIUS site was nearly 15 minutes. At XM, it was just over 13 minutes.

At work, satellite radio subscribers are especially likely to access streaming content online, where broadband penetration is nearly 90 percent. For SIRIUS, 44 percent of users logged in to access a media player for streaming content; for XM, it was 27 percent.

"Satellite radio services have traditionally been thought of as linked to a specific satellite radio device. It is becoming clear that satellite radio subscribers are accessing the content they subscribe to online," said Gibs. "As these services continue to gain in popularity by adding new talent and programming, they could become a significant threat to online music subscription services such as Rhapsody and MSN Radio."

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