(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — XM Satellite Radio has more than six million subscribers and projected it will end 2006 with more than nine million subscribers. XM extended its lead over its competitor in 2005 by adding 2.7 million net new subscribers and expects more than three million net new subscribers in 2006.
The latest XM subscriber numbers come as the company launches the most innovative and highly anticipated products in its history: the world's first portable, handheld devices that receive live satellite radio programming and play MP3 music, combining the two most popular forms of audio entertainment of the past 20 years.
"XM added a record number of new subscribers in 2005, representing 84 percent growth over prior year ending subscribers," said Hugh Panero, president and CEO, XM Satellite Radio. "We have more than six million subscribers today, and we expect to reach more than nine million subscribers by the end of 2006."
XM also had a record holiday selling season with more radios sold as Christmas gifts than ever before. More than 85 percent of XM's nearly 900,000 net new subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2005 came from retail sales. XM ended 2005 with 5,933,000 subscribers, not including radios purchased as Christmas gifts that were not activated before December 31 and will be activated during the first quarter of 2006.
"For the first time ever, you can listen to XM live and play your MP3s on a single, handheld device," Panero said. "This is a major milestone for both satellite radio and MP3, and it promises to fundamentally change the way people enjoy their music. For music fans, these products from Pioneer and Samsung offer the very best of both worlds: XM and MP3 on the go." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen