Carbonite has been flying below the radar the past few weeks, as companies like Arby’s have incurred the wrath of conservatives for pandering to the Media Matters inspired and coordinated attempt to drive Rush Limbaugh from the airwaves.
Carbonite was the most visible and self-righteous of the advertisers to drop Limbaugh in the first few days after his comments about Sandra Fluke. Carbonite’s CEO David Friend invoked concern for his daughters as the reason Carbonite was dropping Limbaugh.
Yet Carbonite continued to advertise on Howard Stern (notorious for his demeaning antics towards women, including calling Sarah Palin the “C” word) and Ed Schultz (who called Laura Ingraham a “slut,” for which he apologized, and regularly attacks conservatives in extremely nasty terms).
Media Matters still is touting Limbaugh’s loss of Carbonite:
If we just look at Carbonite, which probably had the strongest relationship with Rush, their departure is still visible on the front page of Rush’s website – there’s now an empty space where there used to be a permanent Carbonite ad. Carbonite also issued one of the strongest statements in their explanation for excluding ads from Rush’s show. So it seems especially unlikely that they will return.
So how has Carbonite been doing the past month?
Its stock price has recovered and as of the close of the markets yesterday was almost exactly where it was before Carbonite dropped Limbaugh.
Several top insiders have sold shares recently, although not in numbers large enough to indicate an exit strategy, yet. Carbonite also experienced an embarrasing service outage in late March just after announcing‘World Backup Day’.
The real test, however, will come when Carbonite makes its next quarterly SEC filing, which should reveal how Carbonite has fared in its key measures of subscriber growth and retention:
Once we acquire a customer, keeping them is of the utmost importance. Our quarterly retention rate has been strong historically, running around 96% to 97%. Retention is essential to profitability since we make most of our money after the first year, which was burdened by customer acquisition costs and initial support costs.
Has Carbonite accepted responsibility? We’ll find out.
Update 4-11-2012 – Carbonite’s 1st Q 2012 results will be announced after the close of the markets on May 1, and there will be an open telephone conference call with David Friend at 5 p.m. Eastern that day, call in number 877-329-7568.