Satellite Radio Consolidates

Ahh, yes, I will jump on the bandwagon and talk about Sirius and XM merging. No, not so I too can get on the top of TechMeme (it’s too late to play that game, if you want to get to the top of TechMeme you’ve got to be early, or you’ve got to say something interesting about the news, like Doc Searls did).

Since I’m late and not interesting, we’ll give up on that game, OK? Heheh.

But, I’m probably one of the only bloggers who’s owned both a Sirius and an XM radio (my new Saturn has XM, my old Ford had Sirius). I can’t tell the difference between the two networks. Well, other than the channels’ numbers are different. So, I don’t see any great loss if these two systems merge.

Oh, great, I just pissed off all the NASCAR, Adam Curry, and Howard Stern fans who’ll write and remind me that those things are only on Sirius. OK, OK.

I love my satellite radio, but that AUX connector for iPods and Zunes on both of our cars has a strong calling too. I agree with Doc that listening to media you chose is a powerful thing. We have thousands of choices (maybe millions) and using an MP3 player we can listen to what we want, when we want it.

That said, I like the serendipity of listening to stuff I wouldn’t otherwise listen to. That, and podcasting won’t be able to compete with live news over CNBC or BBC or CNN.

Oh, on my Saturn I’ve already put 2,100 miles on the thing. Great car. Maryam’s mom likes riding in it better than she likes riding in the BMW (much more leg room in the back and softer ride). Oh, and the parking attendant at San Francisco’s Fairmont paid it a nice compliment. I’ve never gotten a compliment while driving the BMW. Of course, the fact that he probably parks a hundred BMWs in a day might have something to do with the compliment.

Me? Driving the BMW is more fun, but then I remind myself that I can buy two Saturns for the price of one BMW and all of a sudden the Saturn seems a lot better again.

Long and short of it? Neither system has that many subscribers. Most of my friends don’t have satellite radio. I doubt more than a small percentage of you do either. I bet more of you have HDTVs. Translation: this story doesn’t deserve the amount of pixels being killed for it. :-)

Oh, if this all wasn’t clear: I love my satellite radio and can’t imagine a car without it anymore. But, then, I spend a LOT of time driving lately and I live in a place where radio signals don’t reach very well.

27 thoughts on “Satellite Radio Consolidates

  1. I agree wit your article “satellite”I love my satellite radio, but that AUX connector for iPods and Zunes on both of our cars has a strong calling too. I agree with Doc that listening to media you chose is a powerful thing with satellite

  2. I agree wit your article “satellite”I love my satellite radio, but that AUX connector for iPods and Zunes on both of our cars has a strong calling too. I agree with Doc that listening to media you chose is a powerful thing with satellite

  3. “Long and short of it? Neither system has that many subscribers.”

    At the end of 2006 they had a combibed 14 million subscribers. I think those are pretty good numbers.

  4. “Long and short of it? Neither system has that many subscribers.”

    At the end of 2006 they had a combibed 14 million subscribers. I think those are pretty good numbers.

  5. I agree with you and I think the merger makes great business sense. 55% of new vehicles in 2010 will have satellite radio head units installed by OEMs per long-term agreements. 2007 is the first year the impact of these preinstalled units will really be seen so the timing makes sense. Like you said, it’s a very valuable service (to people like you and me). Build it and they will come.

  6. I agree with you and I think the merger makes great business sense. 55% of new vehicles in 2010 will have satellite radio head units installed by OEMs per long-term agreements. 2007 is the first year the impact of these preinstalled units will really be seen so the timing makes sense. Like you said, it’s a very valuable service (to people like you and me). Build it and they will come.

  7. It’s like hardware-powered HBO and Showtime devices. There’s stuff I want on both… at least now it’s more friendly for me the consumer. Glad I never purchased both.

  8. It’s like hardware-powered HBO and Showtime devices. There’s stuff I want on both… at least now it’s more friendly for me the consumer. Glad I never purchased both.

  9. Robert, I have looked at Satellite radio several times but could never really decide which one to go with so I didn’t go with either. I have a feeling I am not alone.

  10. Robert, I have looked at Satellite radio several times but could never really decide which one to go with so I didn’t go with either. I have a feeling I am not alone.

  11. My family is the reverse; we have satellite but no HDTV. My wife is a huge Stern fan and listens to NPR and talk, I listen to music. I’m curious as to which hardware wins, XM or Sirius’. Would they keep both sets of satellites and hardware going? Who has to get new hardware?

  12. My family is the reverse; we have satellite but no HDTV. My wife is a huge Stern fan and listens to NPR and talk, I listen to music. I’m curious as to which hardware wins, XM or Sirius’. Would they keep both sets of satellites and hardware going? Who has to get new hardware?

  13. “What you want, when you want” isn’t the panacea many people make it out to be.

    It’s funny – no matter how many tracks I put on an iPod (right now, around 10,000) I still feel like they get old pretty quick. And perhaps oddly, I also feel the paradox of choice with that many tracks – deciding what to listen to becomes a chore.

    My XM radio, by contrast, I never get that feeling with. I just turn it on and see what’s playing, and “channel surf” between the different formats I like. It works for me.

  14. “What you want, when you want” isn’t the panacea many people make it out to be.

    It’s funny – no matter how many tracks I put on an iPod (right now, around 10,000) I still feel like they get old pretty quick. And perhaps oddly, I also feel the paradox of choice with that many tracks – deciding what to listen to becomes a chore.

    My XM radio, by contrast, I never get that feeling with. I just turn it on and see what’s playing, and “channel surf” between the different formats I like. It works for me.

  15. When my group of friends first got word of the XM-Sirius thing, most of them shouted “It’ll never happen” because of the antitrust issues. I’m not so sure though, because if both companies are losing money, then how is it a monopoly? Don’t you actually have to be profitable? And it’s not hindering another sat. start-up from offering a better product later…though with all the sports leagues signed exclusively to either XM or Sirius, finding good content might be an issue.

    Hmmm….do I see the “ScobleChannel” in the future on a future sat. network? :-) It definatly won’t be my “Hard Drive Life Live” … lol

  16. When my group of friends first got word of the XM-Sirius thing, most of them shouted “It’ll never happen” because of the antitrust issues. I’m not so sure though, because if both companies are losing money, then how is it a monopoly? Don’t you actually have to be profitable? And it’s not hindering another sat. start-up from offering a better product later…though with all the sports leagues signed exclusively to either XM or Sirius, finding good content might be an issue.

    Hmmm….do I see the “ScobleChannel” in the future on a future sat. network? :-) It definatly won’t be my “Hard Drive Life Live” … lol

  17. “I like the serendipity of listening to stuff I wouldn’t otherwise listen to.”

    Right. Me too. It’s just like how on TiVo you subscribe to what you like, and if you don’t channel surf anymore, you’ll miss some new things you might enjoy.

  18. “I like the serendipity of listening to stuff I wouldn’t otherwise listen to.”

    Right. Me too. It’s just like how on TiVo you subscribe to what you like, and if you don’t channel surf anymore, you’ll miss some new things you might enjoy.

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