XM, Sirius Detail Big Years

XM expects to end 2006 with more than 9 million subscribers. Sirius sees more than 6 million.
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The twin pillars of satellite radio updated subscriber totals and guidance Thursday, with each reporting solid gains in the just-completed year.

Sirius said in a press release that it ended 2005 with 3,316,560 subscribers, reflecting 2,173,302 additions in 2005. Sirius said it added 1,142,640 subscribers in the fourth quarter, up 138% from the fourth quarter of 2004. The company expects to end 2006 with more than 6 million subscribers.

"Satellite radio is very hot and is continuing on pace to be one of the fastest growing products in consumer electronics history. The industry has over 9 million subscribers today and added nearly 5 million new subscribers in 2005," Sirius said in a release. "Sirius continues to be the fastest growing provider in the category. We are experiencing a strong start to the new year and we expect to end 2006 with over 6 million subscribers. We also look forward to the rollout of Sirius in an increasing number of automobiles during the year."

Rival

XM Satellite

(XMSR)

said late Wednesday that it currently has more than 6 million subscribers and projected it will end 2006 with more than 9 million. The company added a net 2.7 million new subscribers in 2005 and expects more than 3 million net additions in 2006.

"XM also had a record holiday selling season with more radios sold as Christmas gifts than ever before," the company said in a release. "More than 85% 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 Dec. 31 and will be activated during the first quarter of 2006."