Music

SiriusXM Cuts 3% of Workforce to Invest in Content, New Technologies

Eleven months after SiriusXM cut 8% of its workforce, the company announced on Monday (Feb. 12) that it will eliminate another 3% of its staff. The layoffs will impact about 170 jobs based on the company’s head count of 5,680 full-time and part-time employees as of Dec. 31, according to its 2023 annual report.  

The cuts will affect every team and business unit and will enable SiriusXM to invest in its content, marketing and technology platform, a company spokesperson told Billboard.  

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In a memo to staff announcing the cuts, CEO Jennifer Witz used much of the same language that executives at Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Spotify employed to explain decisions to restructure those companies and reduce headcount. Not only is SiriusXM reducing its salary expense, but it’s also building for the future and investing in new technologies.  

“We made significant progress on the transformation of our business in 2023, but we have just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible here at SiriusXM,” Witz wrote in the memo. “To continue on our path to future subscriber growth and sustain our Company’s success as the competitive landscape evolves, it’s imperative that we become even more efficient, agile, and flexible. Therefore, today we are making several organizational changes, including the difficult decision to eliminate certain roles, which will allow us to move faster and collaborate more effectively in support of our long-term objectives. From uniting teams and better aligning initiatives, to investing in new technologies that will power our transformation, we are focused on increasing efficiencies and redeploying resources to support the strategic priorities of our business.” 

Once-dependable revenue growth has been harder to find as many consumers shift their listening to streaming services. In 2023, SiriusXM’s revenue fell 0.6% to $7.95 billion as the company lost 445,000 self-pay subscribers to its satellite radio service. Despite reducing its headcount to 5,680 from 5,869 during 2023, general and administrative expenses increased 5% to $550 million last year, and its operating margin fell from 22.6% to 21.7% .  

SiriusXM is hopeful its revamped streaming app — and a $9.99-per-month price tag, which is lower than the satellite radio service — will attract new subscribers and mark the return of revenue growth. The new app launched Dec. 14 and “is yielding promising signs of improved engagement,” Witz said during the Feb. 1 earnings call. The apps personalization features and reduced latency, along with a redesigned SiriusXM logo, have created “a positive lift in brand perception among the growth audience segments we are looking to attract,” she added. 

Investors tend to react positively to news of layoffs made to reduce costs and speed a transformation. Shares of SiriusXM rose as much as 3.1% to $5.05 Monday morning and stood at $5.01, up 2.1%, in the mid-afternoon. 

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