Monday, January 08, 2007

Rumors Of An XM/Sirius Merger All Over CES Floor

Monday January 8, 2007, www.gearlog.com
CES 2007: The Upside of a Sirius/XM Merger

Rumors of an XM/Sirius merger are all over the CES 2007 show floor. It seems strange to think of these arch-rivals getting into bed together, but if you have listened to the two services, the programming overlap is painfully apparent. They hit all the same micro-demographics: Alt-Country, College-Indie, Smooth Jazz, Experimental Jazz, Smooth-Country-Rap, and so on. Sure, you can get Howard only on Sirius, but both services have their minor celebrities. The real value I see in this merger is the hardware. I love Sirius, but XM has a serious hardware edge.
XM announced a serious of new hardware players at CES this year, including the Delphi SKYFi3 , the first satellite player ever to have removable memory so you can easily load your own MP3s. The company is also moving into offering other information services, like weather and traffic alerts. It seems like Sirius has a pretty good player in the Stiletto 100, but they have been in short supply. We haven't even been able to get a review unit to test. So the Pioneer Inno for XM is still the best player we have tested. Hands down. I am not going to leave Sirius, but I do envy XM's hardware.
Sirius made a concerted effort to keep hardware development in-house so it could control the quality (hey, it works for Apple!). But I think XM's multi-vendor strategy has paid off for the company. It gives consumer more choices, and that is a good thing. It also gives XM lots of new gadgets to show off at CES...read more: here

1/08/2007 09:54:00 PM

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