SiriusXM Appoints Ex-Wall Street Journal CMO as First Chief Growth Officer

Suzi Watford joins the audio company after leading Dow Jones’ marketing and consumer strategies

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Audio company SiriusXM has appointed Suzi Watford as the company’s first chief growth officer. Watford will lead SiriusXM’s growth strategy in subscription, marketing and analytics across its subsidiaries, including Pandora

At Dow Jones, Watford served as the company’s chief marketing and membership officer, overseeing marketing and subscription acquisition for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch.

“SiriusXM’s combination of world-class programming and talent with a passionate subscriber base is unmatched in the marketplace, and offers an incredible foundation for future growth,” Watford said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to joining the talented team at SiriusXM at this stage in the company’s journey and playing a role as we look to attract and retain new growth audiences.”

In the third quarter of last year, the audio giant increased total revenue by 4% compared to the same period the year prior, reaching $2.28 billion. Ad revenue grew to $457 million in Q3 2022, a $6 million increase compared to Q3 2021. Subscriptions make up the bulk of its revenues. In the third quarter of 2022, SiriusXM had roughly 34.2 million paid subscribers, down 34.3 million from Q3 2021, per its earnings report. The company’s highest subscription tier, SiriusXM Platinum gives subscribers access to podcasts and ad-free music for $22.99 a month. The company’s subscriptions peaked in Q4 2019 when it hit 34.91 million, according to Statista

Paid promotional subscribers, consumers who receive limited satellite radio subscriptions via auto companies who pay to SiriusXM like Ford and Chrysler, also decreased by 49,000 end of Q3 2022 but self-pay subscribers or individual customers increased by 187,000, ending the quarter with 32.2 million self-pay subscribers.

The company has been strengthening its subscription business in the last year. In August 2022, the company bundled Stitcher Premium with its SiriusXM Platinum Plan for listeners to have access to bonus content. SiriusXM Platinum monthly subscribers have access to shows like Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Freakonomics Radio and LeVar Burton Reads, TechCrunch reported. Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend reached No. 4 in comedy podcasts in the U.S., per Chartable.

SiriusXM is due to report its fourth quarter 2022 earnings on Feb. 2 at 8 a.m. ET.

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