AJ, let me differ with you on your point - I like the idea of the merger, and I am NOT a Stern or Oprah fan. I don't like having to pay for MANY channels that I don't care at all about, but I wouldn't mind paying a reduced fee to choose the channels I like and leave the other ones behind. Heck, even Sirius and XM might find out that some of their channels have almost no listeners at all, allowing them to take down channels that have limited or no broad appeal, to open up transponder space for other services.
When doing the calculus on the merger, you also need to factor in the impact of portable MP3 players, podcasts, network streaming, traditional OTA AM and FM, CD players, etc etc. They are all influencers in an increasingly diluted market competition for "ears".
Listeners win when we get good quality, diverse programming at lower cost.
Here's a different angle to explore - why not make a small few (not all) Sirius and XM channels "free to air" (no subscription required), supported by adverts, just like we do now over the commercial airwaves, and ask listeners who want Premium commercial-free entertainment to subscribe?Lower subscription prices combined with the ability to choose which channels you want to subscribe to (remember my "no Stern comment?) and listeners will choose what they want.
I can hear the adverts now - "If you like us now, subscribe to our commercial free service, for more channel selection choice and uninterrupted entertainment 24 hours a day".
Selection + premium services = win, win.
I certainly agree with many of your points. The real dollar and cents of this issue is that satelite radio with two players have not been able to make money. Even Howard Stern has not been able to bring Sirius up to the same subscription level as XM. When XM first started they had sold commercials on some channels. The competition hammmered them with commercial free ...etc. Satelite radio may well go the way of the 8 track tape player.
What are your thoughts. Add to the discussion just click on the "comments" below.