Under a deal to be announced on Thursday, Sirius XM is working
with Amazon to give three-month trials to some of its
subscription packages when customers buy Amazon's Echo Dot smart
speaker on the e-commerce retailer's website.
In turn, Sirius will give away Amazon Echo Dots to customers who
sign up for its subscriptions through Sirius' website. Sirius XM
subscriptions include talk shows, music, news and sports
The company's satellite radios are installed in 110 million
vehicles, and the bulk of its 33.5 million paid subscribers come
from deals with automakers who install the radios and often
provide a prepaid subscription plan with the cost of a vehicle.
But consumers are increasingly listening to streaming music
services such as Spotify Technology SA or Apple Inc's Apple
Music on devices such as smart speakers while home. To combat
that trend, Sirius started offering a streaming subscription for
smart speakers from Sonos Inc and Amazon, as well as on mobile
phones and laptops.
What music streaming services offer that Sirius does not is
so-called on-demand radio, allowing users to select which songs
to listen to. To get into that business, Sirius earlier this
month made a $3.5 billion all-stock offer to buy Pandora Media
Inc, in which it already owned a stake. If the deal closes,
combined service could rival Spotify in terms of market
The Amazon deal could give Sirius, founded in 2002 and
controlled by John Malone's Liberty Media Corp, a boost in
visibility because Amazon will promote the service on its
website. Amazon has sold 21.5 million Echo devices over the past
year, research firm Canalys said.
In a statement, Sirius and Amazon said that more initiatives
around combining the satellite radio company's service with
Amazon's Echo devices and Alexa voice assistant are expected
later this year.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis; editing by Grant McCool)
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