Bridge Study: Howard Stern A "Non-Factor" In Holiday Satcaster Sales
November 30, 2006

Bridge Ratings has released its latest update to the company's ongoing study of consumer trends for satellite radio in 2006. The newest data factors in Thanksgiving weekend shopping and projects the rest of the holiday purchasing trends. Bridge found that while overall electronics sales were up, satellite radio "was not among those items that caught fire" over the holiday weekend. 

Bridge found that while satellite radio sales were stronger than in previous weeks this fall, it was still down 31.5 percent compared to Thanksgiving weekend last year. The company expects retail sales to improve over the next few weeks, but year-over-year retail numbers will fall short of 2005's results and it is projected that satellite sales will be off between 23 and 25 percent for the fourth quarter.

Of course, last year's satellite sales were greatly driven by Howard Stern's migration to Sirius. But this year, Bridge is calling him a "non-factor" in new satcaster subscriptions. Bridge has tracked weekly interest in Stern among new Sirius subscribers, with only 10 percent of them citing him as a reason for signing up - a new low mark in the study. Also, this month's offer of free online sampling of Stern's programming "does not appear to have impacted retail subscriptions, but it may have increased subscription sales on the Internet."

Overall, Bridge is projecting a 25 percent decline in satcaster retail activity in 2006's fourth quarter when compared to last year's Q4 sales, a drop off of 500,000 units.

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