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SiriusXM reveals rebrand with new features to woo younger audiences

SiriusXM unveiled a strategic shift beyond in-car entertainment to attract a younger audience that could chart a new path for the company, says business columnist Marcellus Williams.

SiriusXM’s new logo. (Photo courtesy of WikimediaCommons)

SiriusXM announced a company rebrand earlier this month, consisting of a new logo and a new app in addition to enhanced features in hopes of expanding from in-car entertainment and reaching a new audience of younger consumers. 

The announcement was made at their “Next Generation” press review and investor event in New York City with many heavy hitters in music and entertainment attending the event to help debut the new vision, a few being Kevin Hart, Kelly Clarkson, and Howard Stern. 

SiriusXM is adopting dynamic changes to chart a new path for the company. This rebrand represents their evolution from solely providing in-car entertainment into a dynamic audio entertainment resource that can withstand competition from larger companies such as Apple Music and Spotify. 

Across all entities of audio entertainment, we can see a heightened importance of adaptability, personification, and creativity, catering to the ever-changing consumer preferences in today’s media landscape.

The updated logo, which will be launched on Dec. 14, exists in better alignment with SiriusXM’s mission statement and company values and outlines a star within the “S,” a nod to Sirius, the “Dog Star.” The star “harkens back to the brand’s origins…bringing subscribers closer to the artists, hosts, celebrities, journalists, newsmakers, and personalities,” says the company website.

In comparison, the previous logo consisted of only the words “SiriusXM” in a distinctive and bold typeface, with a stylized representation of a satellite.

SiriusXM is also reintroducing their company mascot, “Stella,” a “next generation puppy.”

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Along with the new logo and mascot, SiriusXM will offer revitalized subscription plans for customers. They restructured their subscription plan across multiple services, most significantly updating their all-inclusive streaming subscription to $9.99 a month from $10.99 a month. 

Not only has SiriusXM experienced flat sales this past year, but it has also witnessed a loss of subscribers across multiple entities. SiriusXM reported a loss of 94,000 subscribers in its satellite radio unit and a loss of 112,000 subscribers in its Pandora streaming business. 

“Our growth audience is millennials and younger, who are willing to pay for an experience,” CEO Jennifer Witz stated at the investor event. SiriusXM’s multi-pronged plan will help in combating their losses in 2023. 

SiriusXM faces robust competition from streaming companies such as Spotify and Apple Music, which currently command substantial influence among Gen Z and Millennial audiences. In addition to enhancing its features, SiriusXM is poised to launch targeted marketing campaigns tailored to younger demographics.

Kennedy Evers, a junior political Science major and legal communications minor, shared how competing streaming companies are retaining her listenership. 

“I enjoy how Apple Music customizes recommendations of what I should listen to, based on what I already listen to. It helps me find new music related to the genres I like” Evers said. “SiriusXM should adopt more personalized features like these in order to be competitive against Apple Music and Spotify.”

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Dolly Parton’s “Dolly’s Rockstar Radio” and the three new ‘00s channels SiriusXM announced cater strongly to the nostalgic hearts of millennials. Additionally, over 160 artists are available in the new DJ channel takeovers with some of Gen Z’s favorite artists including Cardi B and Olivia Rodrigo. 

A diverse array of new features will be offered through the new app from interactive onboarding to revamped playback. SiriusXM execs seek to develop a “human touch” throughout the development of these new interactive features, which will set them apart from competitors according to CEO Jennifer Witz. 

SiriusXM will also be offering exciting new original channels and shows with multiple figures in entertainment. Notable shows include, “Life With John Mayer” and “This Life of Mine with James Corden.” This diverse lineup will be of interest to every listener, as they are seeking to cover a wide range of topics and demographics in their content.

SiriusXM has also expanded on partnerships with Audible, Polestar, and Hitlon, leveraging their brand to provide their dynamic experience of audio entertainment to multiple different market segments.

Darius Osborne, a junior English major, media, journalism, and film minor believes that SiriusXM has further strides to make before establishing itself as the premier option for young listeners.

“ I’ve already established brand loyalty with competing streaming services like Spotify,” he said. “Although what they are doing is interesting, I’m going to stick with what I’m used to. Also, Spotify offers special discounts and bundles for college students that SiriusXM doesn’t.”

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Copy edited by Alana Matthew


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