Posts Tagged ‘radio’

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Sirius+XM: One step away?

June 16, 2008

As I mentioned a while back, I am totally behind the (long ago) proposed merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio. I have now had subscriptions to both, and I can say that they both have different strong points, but together they would offer the consumer a product that exceeds anything we have ever had on the radio.

An article came out today saying that the FCC is backing the merger. The Justice Department already signed off on it in March (saying it wasn’t a monopoly). We are one vote away from satellite radio bliss.

There is a reason I am so passionate about this, and it is pretty simple. Terrestrial radio sucks. Plain and simple. I should do a blog post on how many songs and bands TK101 in Pensacola ruined for me growing up. Yes, TK. I like Pearl Jam and Tool. But ever hour 15 years?!? Seriously? You ruined it for me. Thanks. Same with Soundgarden, Metallica… you name it. TK101 is like so many other soulless Clear Channel stations around the word. They sterilize the content they broadcast to meet a corporate standard, and in the end, we are left with the same crap on the radio. The only good, terrestrial radio left in Talk stations, and that is simply because sports talk and news talk take into account what people want to hear at a LOCAL level.

I have seen numerous bands get a major local following, but never be able to break onto local radio stations simply because, if you are popular in Birmingham, they haven’t heard of you in corporate headquarters in New York. Again… the fans and bands get hosed when the stations choose to play thier 4000th Garth Brooks (this month) song over the wildly popular Zac Brown Band.

This is why I like satellite radio. While it may seem that centralizing the company behind the station might lead to less choices on the dial, the sheer number of stations and the addition of subscription revenue allow Sirius and XM to offer a very wide variety of music. Don’t like what you hear on this station? Change it to another one.. we own that one too. Terrestrial radio has few goals, and one of the biggest one is for you to NOT change the station. Changing the station means lost revenue from advertisers. And don’t forget.. if a new band comes out and young people like it, then they will have a tough time making it on a station that sells ads to beer companies. Why? Because the stations have to show that their listers average age is over 21 in order to carry that type of ad. So this means TK 101 will continue to play Pink Floyd ever friggin hour to keep that miller cash train a rollin. I am as big a business guy as anyone, but you always have to keep your eye on the product you deliver. I hate you, TK101.

Anyway… with the a la carte options they are promising and ease of roll out, I am so stoked that this merger could lead to me being able to listen to all MLB, NFL, and NCAA games coast to coast, without changing the channel. DISCLAIMER: I am realistic, so I know that these two companies becoming one could be a problem down the road. Business power could equal some of the same problems that the Clear Channel madness has. But for the foreseeable future, I think this will be an awesome development.