Sirius XM Tries to Stay in Cruise Control as Google Arrives

Google Radio

It’s been high times for Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI). After posting another 5-year high and gaining over 3 percent for the week, the satellite radio company closed on Friday at the goalpost mark of $3.50. Meanwhile, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) showed it had a streaming radio service up its sleeve and unleashed its “All Access” package in advance of any iRadio service. Can this tech powerhouse rattle Sirius on its impressive run?

Sirius is looking unflappable on many levels. Positive weeks filled with growth are followed by more of the same for the only satellite radio provider on the market. Good news from the auto industry in 2013 has meant that new subscriptions continue rolling onto the books. Google’s entry with All Access represents a threat only with respect to the Sirius streaming component, as drivers aren’t connecting much in the car unless they’re on Sirius.

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All Access is more along the lines of Pandora (NYSE:P) and Spotify, services that deliver steaming music services for smartphones, PCs and tablets. It represents such a threat to the existing streaming services that Pandora received downgrades from some analysts this week while dropping 2.5 percent during Friday trading. Google went so far as to offer its All Access at the same price point as Spotify, making many wonder how long it would take for the tech giant to eat into its market share. Sirius can in many ways turn on cruise control while these services race against one another.

Sirius offers an inexpensive add-on to its satellite radio subscriptions to get customers streaming radio at home and on smartphones, making it a one-top shop for customers who want varied entertainment options. Its efficient management and connection to the revived auto industry made it a favorite for many hoping it would get to the $3.50 mark and continue its ascent. Most analysts put the Sirius ceiling around $3.75 for the coming quarters.

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Threats from Google and the awaited iRadio from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will affect the more vulnerable radio services still trying to prove their mettle in the modern music industry. Google’s beating Apple to the punch is not as significant as some expected, as its service only works for Android devices. Most importantly for Sirius, neither will come in a package from a car dealership.

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