Can satellite radio succeed?

I have had Sirius for about 4 months. I like it a lot. The $13 a month cost for mostly commercial free radio and tremendous diversity in programming seems like a bargain to me.

As compared to the cable TV service I have automatically been paying over $30 a month for years----when I have a perfectly good antenna that gives an excellent picture for freebies (and the only reason I have cable TV is because I like the History channel and TMC—and the occasional football game I couldn’t watch on network TV)

Anyway, I have always listened to a lot of radio as compared to watching TV so satellite radio seems like the greatest invention since sliced bread and a bargain to boot.

But all I seem to hear (on commercial radio—so there may be a bias there) is that satellite radio is tanking, that it will never make back its investment, and that it will never get enough subscribers to be a success.

What is the real skinny on satellite radio? Is it bound to fail? Did I waste my money on their equipment? Was I a fool to buy 2 years subscription ahead to get a discount?

I think you answered your own question. It’s a great product, and fundamentally a good idea. They may have some growing pains as they try to figure out the business model that is viable/profitable.

But satelite TV, Cable TV and especially the internet struggled mightily to figure out how to make money. Long before the ebay, Amazon etc started making money there was billions invested and lost.

If we’re willing to pay for TV----even free network TV is available—I predict we’ll be willing to pay for subscriber radio.

There may be similar bloodletting—but I’d bet good money that they’ll figure it out and the industry [in some form] is here to stay.

Well, two years ago, they had a million viewers. A year ago, two and a half million. Now, I believe it’s over six million. Mostly thanks to Howard Stern. Without him, there would be no chance in heck. Now? I just don’t know. Could be.

I believe it is here to stay too.
They already have a great feature in “no/far less commercials”, it seems like everyone is getting sick of them these days.

Of course it only really appeals to certain people. I used to listen to the radio only when the batteries on my cd/mp3 player were running low (it gave me a few more hours of something to listen to while walking to work). I was always dismayed at what seems to be “mainstream” music these days. That and the seeming 10 minutes of commercials every 20 minutes.

Satellite radio is just the same, except without (or far less) commercials. I am pretty picky with what type of music I like to listen to. Satellite radio wouldn’t really appeal to someone with very specific tastes. They might figure it would be a better investment to install an mp3 player in their car.

But then I figured people just turned on the radio in their cars to give themselves something to listen to :stuck_out_tongue:

What is starting to give me some hope that satellite radio might well make it is that I am starting to hear anti-satellite radio “commercials” on commercial radio.

Commercial radio must be getting a little worried to bother with dissing satellite radio on their own dime.

And the anti-satellite ads are just plain wrong (at least in my experience)

I very rarely get a loss of signal even when driving. (usually while going under an overpass for a second----I assume it wouldn’t work at all in a tunnel).

The equipment doesn’t seem overly pricy with all the rebates offered. And it does seem to be very well made.

Hard to imagine now doing without the continuous local traffic report channel. I really rely on that going to work and back.

Slight nitpick. XM has over 6 million subscribers alone. Sirius has a bit over 3 million. So, it’s actually about 9.5 million people with satellite.

I have the XM and love it. My personal opinion is that at some point in the next 3 years, either XM or Sirius will win the race and buy the other out. But, some form of satellite radio is here to stay. Great product, reasonable price.

I am tempted by satellite radio for one reason: Baseball.

I live in the boonies. Baseball games are at night when stations go to nighttime power. I don’t think the price is shockingly high, but it’s probably too high for someone like me.

Sirius has three million, XM currently has more. Sirius is projecting 6 million by the end of this year. My bad.

There are a lot of people who still live in the boonies and can’t get much of ANY radio, maybe a station or 2 that may play some stuff you like between endless commercials. Satellite radio fills in all those voids. People who drive a lot probably like it as well. You can go for hours and never have to search for a station unless you want a total format change, something you couldn’t do with an CD changer or MP3 player.

And the whole total format change is something. Unless you live in an area with a large broadcast radio presence, you may not even get the particular format you like. I have nothing but good things to say about it, it’s a great investment from my POV.

I just wanted to chime in my belief that satellite is here to stay- its a good product. I don’t have to listen to endless rotations of the same old mainstream (even the “alternative” station here is repetitive) and on most channels there are no commercials. As the equipment gets better (right now I’ve got my headphones on my new Myfi and setting up my personal playlist) and the price more affordable (already the Delphi and Roady’s are about half what they were last year) , I think more people will switch.

I never lose my signal in my car unless I’m in a parking garage, the portable Myfi though doesn’t get a good signal (when using portable) without being hooked to a better antenna.

On that note, there are quite a few call in channels on XM, and every other call is from a trucker, who seem to have embraced satellite radio en masse.

I’ve had Sirius for a year and a half. Except for NPR, I seldom listen to terrestrial radio in Cleveland anymore; it’s awful.

I heard one good bit of investment advice several years ago - if you’re very happy with a company that ypou’ve patronized, it makes sense to invest in it. A few days abo, I bought 100 shares of Sirius stock. I’m confident that it will be siccessful, although it will take come time. The suckage of David Lee Roth, the increasing number of commerials, ever-shrinking playlists, and over-compressed sound will drive more people to Sirius and XM. At $13 a month, it’s a bargain.

Something I am a little curious about–

One of the reasons I got Sirius was to be able to listen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers games on the road (seems like there is always a game on when I am traveling) and to listen to FSU football (FSU alumni here) on the road (ditto for being on the road many times when I want to listen to a game).

No problemo with the Bucs.

But it does seem that Sirius, even though it offers 30 College programs, ignores FSU, Miami, Virginia Tech----perenial top 10 or top 15 teams-------while offering Vanderbilt???

I guess there is some kind of payola deal. ACC not coughing up the bucks while the SEC is to Sirius? Or maybe the opposite--------Sirius not coughing up the bucks to the ACC? And doing it for the SEC?

What’s the skinny here?

XM has a deal with the ACC, as well as Pac10 and BigTen.

“Satellite Radio” may well morph into something more sophisticated too, so don’t necessarily think of it as just ‘radio’. I know that as long as 18 months ago Sirius was showing prototypes of video satellite delivery - meaning, buy a Sirius-sponsored receiver, and get video as well.

Ultimately, it’s just data, and it’s who can deliver the data - meaning, interesting content - to a capable reception device that people find useful.

I, too, am a recent satellite convert, and I cannot imagine going back. I got Sirius for Christmas. The receiver was only $50. As others have stated, it’s only $13 a month for programming. The first night I listened to it was a twelve hour shift on my ambulance. Through the night my partner and I said “hea, we haven’t heard this song in forever.” as we channel bounced from one to another. Then, right before we came back to base to go home, I suddenly realised I had not listened to one commercial the entire night. Satellite radio had become the coolest thing I had ever gotten. (well, at least for $50)

So I am totally converted. Even without Howard, I’m keeping Sirius. With Howard I’ll most likely bounce back and forth between him and Adam Corolla. Any other time of day, it’s satellite all day long in my car.

I got satellite in the summer of 2004 while in central Pennsylvania. One reason I got it was that I only had the CD player (didn’t have an iPod yet) and it is impossible to keep getting the same station as you go from valley to valley. With XM, the only time I ever lost the signal was when the terrain blocked the view to the south to hit the satellite. It’s even better in New Mexico where you can catch a few Albuquerque stations, sometimes with repeaters/transmitters and sometimes the AM stations with the big transmitters, especially at night when you can catch the signal bouncing off the atmosphere but generally there ain’t much to listen to on the big empty parts of the highway. It’s nice to be driving from Las Cruces to Albuquerque and listen to a baseball game or ESPN Radio or one of the cable news channels or one of lots of music channels the whole way up I-25. Heck, I think the only thing I ever use my radio for these days is for NPR, which you can’t really get from either Sirius or XM.

I think most are missing S.R.'s greatest threat - the internet. Podcasts are alreay here where ou can time shift audio programs, and subscribe to music services where you have a unlimited music collection (though have to pay monthy for it). It just takes a bit of thought to offer downloads of music catagories to playback later, much like the S.R’s stations - commercial free.

Down the road I expect being able to access the net in more places much easier and wirelessly- this will be the death to S.R. IMHO as then even live events can be sent to such devices as cell phones, cars, PDA’s blackberries and blueberries (OK I made the last one up).

I agree that’s the biggest threat, but I think satellite radio will remain a more convenient option for a long time. Satellite radio already has nationwide coverage while WiFi is extremely limited. You could download Podcast content at home, but it’s not convenient to do it every day. And newer satellite radio receivers have time-shift capabilities.

I’ve actually tried to replace the Sirius receiver with my iPod, but I just couldn’t give up my Sirius. While it’s not much work to sync my iPod every morning, it’s even simpler to just get in the car and turn on the radio. With satellite radio I never run out of content to listen to, and I always get up-to-date news and talk shows.

Right now I agree the Ipod and S.R. do fill different nitches, but can, w/ some inconvienenve overlap. But you are assuming todays technology, not tomorrows.

Cellular networks will expand both in coverage area and bandwidth, metro areas will have citywide wi-fi coverage as well. ‘Ipod, cellphone, pda’ capacity will expand and be able to hold ‘days’ of music (if it doesn’t already) in several catagories. These technologies will merge. This will allow you to select the catagory of music you wish to listen to and have your device preloaded via wireless, from whereever you are, just by saing something like “hello Ipod, please download music from the 80’s, and catagorize it as '80’s”, or by standard web stile navigation, either at your home computer or handheld or car device.

As to how fast this could happen, I don’t know, but suspect it’s one of those things that will come about very quicky.