Ideas for SIRIUS XM survival


I had XM radio installed in my car last Christmas and I’ve been hooked ever since.  For real, what’s a guy to do with an hour commute each way to and from work?  The standard radio station selection is riddled with commercials or music stations that repeat their programming every 4 hours.

Today SIRIUS and XM released their merged channel lineup.  This is a continuing part of their consolidation and streamlining as a result of their merger.  I don’t have any major issues with the programming adjustments.  The stations that I listen to the most are all still available and there are few additions that I look forward to enjoying.  I see today’s change as a necessary update for their service offering.

A bigger concern I have is if SIRIUS XM will be in business next year.  The last time I was hooked on a service like this was with Web Van for in-home grocery delivery.  Web Van couldn’t get enough repeating customers and was never able to make the business model profitable.  Bye Bye Web Van. 🙁

In case you haven’t noticed, SIRIUS XM has some serious financial problems.  They’ve got more debt than I can fathom coming due in 2009 and no one is sure how they will pay it.  The stock was trading at 25 cents per share today.  The new subscriber rates are down because the auto industry is down.   Ouch!

So, Mr. Banker please restructure the SIRIUS XM debt.  Let’s give them a little slack since the Feds took so long to approve the merger and auto industry is in a down cycle.  There is hope to reinvigorate this company.  Here’s some ideas how:

  1. Get satellite radio programming in clock radios.  Don’t bother trying to put a satellite antenna in them which will have problems with line of site.  Instead, get a wireless connection to local WiFi or WiMax and then pickup streaming programming from your Internet feed.
  2. Partner with cable and satellite TV providers to the music provider for their music channels.  I believe some of these already exist.  Keep pushing it!  Be the provider for the cable companies online digital presence as well.
  3. Focus more on portable devices.   Just last month I went looking for a portable solution so that I could take satellite radio with me to the ball park.  I wanted to be able to listen to the NCAA college football feeds while watching my kids play sports.  I did find a solution, but the selection was really limited.
  4. Get into a mobile phone device such as the new G-Phone.  Partner with cell phone packages to include the service streaming via the Internet.  You’ll have to get creative here because alot of competition is now present in this space.  Leverage the strengths of your programming to incent customers away from lesser competitors.  Bottom line though, smart phones are the new PC.  You’ve gotta get hooked into them.
  5. Partner with airlines as part of in-flight services.  Again, you’ve got superior programming to the tracks stored on the plane.  On one recent trip from Atlanta to Las Vegas the plane was streaming live CNN video.  Why couldn’t they stream live satellite radio programming?

And I guess if all else fails, sell-out to Google.


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