TD Fall Investing GuideTD Fall Investing Guide
Fri, 16 Mar 2012 10:11:56 GMT | By Michael Brush, MSN Money
Eight companies with cult followings

Sirius XM Radio: The cult of Howard Stern

Sirius XM Radio: The cult of Howard Stern (© Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
  • Apple, Lululemon, Starbucks
  • Apple, iPad, Steve Jobs (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)
  • Starbucks, coffee (© Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
  • Sirius XM Radio: The cult of Howard Stern (© Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
  • Lululemon Athletica, yoga (© Benjamin Norman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
  • Harley-Davidson: The cult of macho (© Brian Snyder/Reuters)
  • Under Armour: The weekend warrior cult (© Rick Maiman/AP Images/Under Armour, Inc.)
  • Research In Motion, RIM, BlackBerry (© Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)
Shannon Stapleton/ReutersShow Thumbnails
Previous4 of 9Next
Share this Gallery

In the classic cult, minions flock to a strong and charismatic leader who thinks differently and holds distinctive and disruptive ideas. That's what you have with Howard Stern, the popular radio personality, says Antonio Marazza a general manager at the brand consulting firm Landor Associates and co-author of Lifestyle Brand.

The strength of Stern's personality helps explain why shares of Sirius XM Radio (SIRI.O), the struggling satellite radio company, have doubled since late 2010. You can listen to him only via Sirius. "You would be hard-pressed to find someone else in entertainment who has been a license to print money as long as he has," says Scanlon, of the John Hancock Balanced Fund.

(Unfortunately, Stern zealots who initially followed him into the stock above $5 are still hurting, since the stock trades for around $2.30.)

It helps that Sirius has landed other figures with their own followings, including Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Sirius also has some strengths as a business. It offers exclusive content with very few ads. And Sirius XM Radio is available for free for a few months in more than half of all new cars. So, as car sales rise in an improving economy, subscriber growth will increase. And of course the satellite radio hardware stays in cars as they move to the second-hand market, contributing to subscriber growth, points out Scanlon.

Still, detractors have long argued that regular free radio and digital music leave no room for satellite radio and Sirius. It helps to have a cult that insists the detractors are wrong.

* Video: Music's top earners include Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga

Image Search for Sirius XM Radio: The cult of Howard Stern on Bing
Previous 1 of 1 Next
See more results results by

Have your say

How long does it take you to completely unpack after moving in?

Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results

    25 %
    3 days – I'm an unpacking MACHINE!
    4,273 votes
    26 %
    I need a full month just to figure out where to put everything!
    4,314 votes
    9 %
    3 months – I use the boxes as end tables!
    1,448 votes
    37 %
    NEVER! I still haven't unpacked everything from the last move.
    6,174 votes
    3 %
    590 votes

Total Responses: 16,799
Not scientifically valid. Results are updated every minute.

Money videos

Recently recommended stories