Digital Audio World

Musings and information on podcasting, digital audio, online streaming audio and home studio recording from Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon of

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Memo to Sirius and XM Satellite Radio: Watch Your Back

Sometimes a technology is so good and cool-sounding that it jumps out in front of everything else and then - whoops! - it sort of vanishes when something else just tromples all over it.

Is it happening with satellite radio? New data suggests that podcasting might actually put a huge dent in satellite listening. Since it's so easy to take a podcast along for a ride in your car (and many people apparently are doing just that), they're foregoing listening to their satellite radio.

Sirius and XM radio are seeing their subscriber bases growing, but losses for the two are increasing, according to news reports.

It recalls the time when DAT (Digital Audio Tape) was the Next Big Thing, for oh, about 8 months back in the late 80s. Or was it the early 90s. Whatever. Once you could burn a CD, who the hell needed DAT? Nobody. It's a great technology, but it got shoved to the side of the road as another piece of technological litter.

Satellite radio is an uphill battle, anyway, in spite of Howard Stern's huge draw. Paying for radio? How dumb is that?

Sirius says they lost $237.8 million during the second quarter of 2006. That's an increase over the loss from the same period in 2005.

Let's look at it this way: either you pay for radio with a few hundred channels of fairly cool stuff, but you STILL CAN'T CONTROL EXACTLY WHAT THE CONTENT IS....or you download a podcast for free....or listen to local radio.

You may like the host on the satellite station that you're paying for, but there's always something on the terrestrial band which is at least listenable or comparable.

And did I mention that 99.999% of all podcasts are free? Yeah, many of them are supported now with advertising, but since your content is laser-targeted (you get to CHOOSE what to put on your iPod), chances are better than ever that it's something you'll want to listen to.

And with the price of entry for satellite radio at something like $150 a year, it's not going to grab everyone. No way.

And of course Apple's new iPod support in many new car models for 2007 will continue to eat away at that satellite support.

Check the story here from Podcasting News

Damn, I'll be those guys in the corner offices for those satellite radio companies are looking over their shoulders, wondering how they, too can start podcasting soon...


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