Friday, April 14, 2006

Changing The Perception Of Radio

April 14, 2006

Satellite Standard Group (SSG) has been following satellite radio for quite some time. We have watched the medium grow from the times when the initial “gadget-heads” jumped on board through the current Howard Stern converts. The sector now boasts over 10,000,000 subscribers and is growing every day.

For many who are not “in tune” with satellite radio, the concept of paying for radio may seem foreign. Those that have made the switch often state that they can’t live without it. In a recent speech at the Morgan Stanley Global Automotive Conference Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio stated, “We have over 90% of our subscribers satisfied with the service and 86% who would recommend Sirius to a friend.”

So why is there this disconnect with people who are not yet satellite radio subscribers? The answer most likely lies in what their perception of radio is. They likely live in a market with about a dozen FM radio station and perhaps a dozen AM stations. Of those 24 stations, maybe 4 or 5 appeal to them on some level, and while listening to those stations, they have to deal with and listen to large blocks of advertising. This is what these people perceive as radio, and this is why they would question the concept of paying for radio. They simply are conditioned by years of the status quo.

Those that have made the switch typically love satellite radio, and here are some reasons why:

Commercial Free Music. Both Sirius and XM offer a wide variety of commercial free music channels. This enables you to listen to your favorite music without having to spend 40% of your commute hearing ads for the latest hair growth product.

Variety of Music. Sirius and XM offer a wide variety of music that will match your tastes….even from moment to moment. Are you in the mood for today’s hits? You have them. Want to hear some good 70’s tunes? You can have it at the press of a button. Want some good background music for the office? Just a button press away. Do you like rock, but want to hear that cross-over country hit? Once again, just press the button.

Unparalleled Content. Sirius and XM also offer content that you simply don’t get anywhere else on radio. Are you watching CNBC in the morning as you get ready for work? Did you see a story that is due in the next segment, but need to head out the door? No problem at all….Sirius and XM have the feed on their services. Do you like Fox News or CNN? They have that as well. Do you want comedy, shock jocks, programming for women, programming for kids, programming for men, football, baseball, hockey, NBA, Nascar, soccer, horse racing, tennis, or golf? Satellite radio likely has you covered. The selection is immense.

Unequaled Capability. Sirius and XM give you far more than just great content. You get to see the artist of the song. You get to see the name of the song. You can even see the year the song was released. You can have your hardware notify you when your favorite song or artist is being played on any channel, and get to that song at the press of a button. You can save songs, or entire shows. Some units let you pause and/or rewind a song. Are you listening to Jay Thomas, but need to order your coffee at Dunkin Donuts? Simply pause the show, order your large coffee, and then press play. You didn’t miss a thing. This feature is very helpful when the cell phone rings.

In short, satellite radio is nothing like the radio you may be used to. It is a brand new medium that offers more than you could even think of, and you have access to all of it for what amounts to 43 cents per day.

Both Sirius and XM offer on line trials that I would suggest anyone try. These trials give you a chance to experience the content offerings of the service right over your computer. My advice is try the on line version, but to also talk to someone you know who has the service.

You can try Sirius on line by clicking here.

You can try XM on line by clicking here.

The link to this write up is http://tinyurl.com/lwnoo

4/14/2006 09:39:00 AM

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