Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Your XM/.Sirius Comments are so good I want them as a main post

Russell W. has left a new comment on your post "XM/Sirius Merger Comment":

I have a lot of thoughts about satellite radio, where do I start:

* Satellite will never kill terrestrial radio. Two things will smother it first: 1) personal media players, and 2) the industry itself.

* One appealing thing about satellite is that it's more family-friendly, and gives you MUSIC in the morning. Most commercial stations have given up music in favor of often raunchy morning shows. Some people don't like toilet humor, especially with their chirren in the car. Advantage: satellite.

* I find it puzzling how the NAB has been so puffed up against the Sirius/XM merger. If anything, a monopoly satellite service would be highly likely to raise prices and reduce services, alienating their customer base. Shouldn't the NAB be ROOTING for that to happen???

* I work in radio (public radio) and yes I have a Sirius subscription. Two of 'em, in fact (one for each of our cars). Does this mean I'm betraying terrestrial radio? Of course not. I wonder if the GMs of KARK, KATV and KTHV have cable service at home?

* Do I listen to Sirius all the time? Of course not; my wife listens way more than I do. In town I'm usually listening to my own station...

* ... but when I'm going to and from Alabama each month to see my son, Sirius is my best friend. I'm hooked on the Radio Classics channel (118). OTR shows, 24/7. I'd pay just to have Radio Classics ALONE. Jack Benny weekdays at 5 PM. Life is good.

* What does make me cringe is when I see NPR competing with its own member stations. The highly-popular "Car Talk" each Saturday morning is fed live to Sirius at the same time it's fed to our stations! Ain't too crazy about that part.

* I think "Free To Air" is a no-brainer. Put the "basic" stuff on there, and have it advertiser-supported. Then tease for the "premium" services.

* Don't get rid of the 'niche' channels -- that's satellite's ace in the hole! Throw 'em overboard, and that would make Sirius/XM no different from terrestrial radio, which has shot itself in the foot (if not heart) through its over-researched music and over-leveraged clusters.

* A la carte? Great idea. Many people who have satellite radios like more than one kind of music. While it's good for whatever musical mood hits, I doubt 99% of XM or Sirius subscribers listen regularly to more than a dozen or so channels, myself included. Lower the price and more will come on board.

* Even if I don't like a channel, I'm glad it's there for others to enjoy. Sirius has a liberal talk channel, and two conservative channels .... everyone is happy. (I don't like talk shows too much, tho'; music and OTR are my elixirs while on a lonely interstate)

Who knows what this merger will hold. I do know a couple of things: if they raise the rates, I'll howl. If they get rid of Radio Classics, buh-bye.

In the end, I do have my Sirius baseball cap (got it as a subscription bonus). That'll become an instant collector's item. :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There isn't much more you can hear on XM/Sirus that you can't hear on your local radio station. The days of the dominant Top 40 station are gone. There used to be three or four that played the latest music, now there is only one. Radio Stations now are after the niche audience. The formats now are classic rock, country, hit music, and talk radio. The formats that have become popular recently are classic country and sports talk radio.
The car talk show that is on XM on Saturday mornings is probably the same one that airs on the current KAAY. America's Car Talk is the one that airs Saturdays at 11AM CT on the current KAAY. Really one is free to listen to and the other you have to subscribe. Why pay for it when you can listen to the same thing for free.