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Who Cares About Sirius and XM Radio?

February 26, 2007

Last week, Sirius and XM Radio announced they are going to merge into one satellite radio company. A couple months back The Florida Times-Union published a story about yet another “oldies” radio station going down the tube.

The Florida Times-Union article said that, “If you’re a fan of oldies radio, you’ve got a problem: You’re getting too old – at least as far as the radio industry is concerned.” It went on to tell about station WKQL and their shift to “rhythmic adult contemporary” music. The XM/Sirius story last week was big news, but I’m not really sure why.

For a lot of “oldies” listeners these days, they couldn’t care less about such changes on their radio dials, or in the atmosphere. Nope, they’re getting their music from their computers.

Log on to www.rhapsody.com or music.yahoo.com and take a look. Both of these incredible music services cost a little money, but they cost very little when you consider that you can listen to exactly what you want to listen to. And, I mean “exactly” – not just a type of music station or genre, like “oldies.” In fact, it’s like owning the largest record collection in the world – every day – and being the disk jockey for that collection.

Perhaps you’re in a Sinatra mood. Go ahead; just dial up whatever album or albums you like of his. Maybe you’d rather have Lionel Hampton or Stan Getz? No problem. Jimmy Buffett, the Stones or Judy Collins? At these Internet radio stations you can choose any combination of any artists and songs you desire, save your favorite playlists and even download them to a portable music player.

Business Week seemed to figure it out in their article called XM and Sirius: What a Merger Won’t Fix. Their story was such a yawn that XM and Sirius fans didn’t even object. The online story elicited exactly 2 (two) comments from Business Week readers.

Internet music is not about a type of station or a list of musical genres – it’s about your station, with your music, fitting your mood, each day. Radio, it’s just not what’s relevant anymore. Who cares about XM and Sirius, seriously?

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6 comments

  1. When was the last time you listened to Internet radio in your car? I agree these services offer compelling content listening at home or at work (which I do BTW) but the days of seamless nationwide broadband wireless coverage, which is what is needed to listen to these services, is a long way off. I have a Smartphone with Verizon and in theory I could use that to listen but even nationwide celluar broadband is far from mature.


  2. […] Benidt at Hidden Business Treasures has doubts about the entire enterprise: The XM/Sirius story last week was big news, but I’m not really sure […]


  3. I agree with Jim. Although I believe itunes, Rhapsody and other internet music content sites compete with free and satellite radio at home or in the office, in the car the story is different. You would need to compare mp3 players like the Ipod, and car stereos capable of playing mp3’s. The merger is not about internet music. It is about over the air, satellite and portable music.


  4. Just a note for Jim and Richard,
    I know it seems impossible, but both of these services have “to-go” options. As long as you keep paying your monthly subscription you can play Rhapsody and Yahoo on your MP3 player – which works nicely in a car, either wireless to FM or the old fashioned way to your tape deck.


  5. The article in Business Week just goes to show the power that our society gives our journalists — they can direct commerce by their statements. Yes, there are currently many newer options for receiving music and other audio programming that were not available a few years ago, but they have their “hidden” costs. For instance, if I were to stream music to my computer via DSL, I’d need to spend $$ to add an audio card to my ‘puter and to purchase high end speakers, something I already have available on my sterio for my XM connection.

    Also, as already mentioned, the cellular network is far from adequate for complete coverage that satelite reaches. What about driving across the unpopulated plains of Kansas, Oklahoma, or Nebraska. And, it even gets worse when you are on one of the canyon roadways in the Rock Mountains. Here even traditional radio coverage is somewhat spotty, but my XM only cuts out when I’m in a tunnel.

    Also, I don’t want to have to pick through the huge lists of new age artists as there seem to be more in this genre than all the others combined. I prefer to have a DJ compile a list of songs, from several different artists. I have many new favorites from those I have heard on the XM channel. Until the companies go belly up, I’ll be a satelite user.


  6. Now, Michael:

    We’ve known each other for quite some time, and I have to say, I DO like Sirius radio. You know, some of us don’t have computers in our cars, and some of us get hooked to specific radio stations. Personally, I am hooked on Sirius’ NFL channel, which allows me to listen to every Broncos football game, even if I am in my car, in any part of the country. So, who cares about Sirius? Your good buddy, Jon, does.



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