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SiriusXM Mulls Job, Cost Cuts in 2023 Amid Declining Ad Budgets, Auto Manufacturer Delays

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SiriusXM is planning cost-cutting measures for the new year — including, potentially, job cuts, the satellite radio service told staff during a company-wide Zoom meeting this week.

SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz said the company is reviewing “where there is room for improved efficiency,” as it weighs how to handle macroeconomic challenges like declining advertising budgets and auto manufacturer delays while still investing in a near-total rebuild of its technology infrastructure.

“The results of this review will highlight the other areas where we may need to reduce spending, and it may indicate the need for staff reductions,” Witz said on the Nov. 28 call, according to notes from the call reviewed by Billboard and verified by a spokesperson.

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“In the meantime, we need to closely evaluate our hiring needs and be purposeful in prioritizing roles that align with our strategic initiatives.”

This comes amid a wave of music companies announcing layoffs, including Spotify, SoundCloud, BMI and Anghami, as all prepare for a possible economic downturn.

SiriusXM said its cost-cutting review is currently underway. While it has not finalized any decisions on how many jobs would be cut or from what divisions, Witz said the results of the review are expected in the new year.

During Witz’s roughly two years as CEO, SiriusXM has hired about 1,500 new employees, bringing the company’s total headcount to just under 5,700, according to filings.

SiriusXM reported last month that profits fell in the third quarter from a year ago due to a slowdown in Pandora subscriber revenue and higher expenses from investments in podcasting and technology. Third quarter revenues were up overall, as the company’s total subscribers rose to 34.2 million.

The company is in the process of updating the back-end technology and user-friendliness of its SiriusXM app, Witz said during a presentation at the investor day for SiriusXM’s parent company Liberty Media on Nov. 17. Updating the app’s infrastructure so that the company can bring new products to the app quickly is a key part of the company’s growth strategy.

“[The new app] takes the ease and connection we have in-car and extends it everywhere our subscribers go while inviting new listeners in as our standalone streaming business continues to grow,” Witz said at the investor day. She also acknowledged the “challenging macroeconomic environment where we are seeing headwinds in both the ad market and auto industry,” and said those issues are forcing the company to run leaner in certain areas in order to prioritize investing in growing SiriusXM’s audiences.

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