SIRIUS reported second quarter earnings before the bell Tuesday and analysts and shareholders were more than impressed with the results. The lone provider of satellite radio in North America showed strong top and bottom-line growth, even after a pandemic made premium in-car services an easy luxury to go without.
The upward trajectory could be because of new car sales, or Sirius’ efforts to flesh out their streaming services, but it’s much more likely due to the company’s commitment to make cancelling your subscription even harder than it already is.
“Having to cancel over the phone gave us a great foundation to build on,” Brian Marriott, Head of Consumer Relations, explained to Hard Money. “The fact that customers knew they would have to actually talk to an employee deterred them just enough that they would put off ending their subscription for a day. Then, you know, life happens and suddenly that day stretches into weeks, and then months. Before you know it, you’ve been listening to Bubba the Love Sponge for another year.”
Most companies would be content with that level of cancellation protection, but Brian eventually realized Sirius would have to shift into a higher gear. “When Google unveiled their new AI technology, I could see the writing on the wall,” he explained. “We’re not too far away from people being able to ask their phones to cancel plans for them, so we got busy. Anyone trying to end their subscription must now pass through a seven step user verification system, and then answer a riddle.
If they are successful, they’ll need to hand deliver a letter of intent to our headquarters in NYC, unless they live in NYC in which case they’ll be directed to our office in Seattle. Once that takes place, they’ll receive a call from Howard Stern, who will try and talk them out of it one last time.”