What if SIRIUS XM never produced another portable?

mrpacs

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If they are smart they won't produce another portable. Look at Slacker, look at TeleNAV; they're all getting out of the hardware business and concentrating on what it is they do best. Everything is going to the iphone and BB's.
 

drdroo

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Which must be why the Slacker Blackberry app has over a million downloads, as well as the Pandora app. EDIT: 4 million since the blackberry app was released, and 35 percent of new registrants are Blackberry owners. I'd say (and a little research goes a long way) that the exact opposite is true.
Let's talk about what 'qualifies' a 'listener'. Is this someone who installed the app? Is it someone who actually listens to the service? If it's the latter, how often are they listening? more than 20 hours a week?

What you quoted has a lot of holes and more questions than answers. I installed Pandora on my cell phone and used it all of twice. Does that mean Pandora has a 'new subscriber' and 'subscriber growth' due to that use even though I'll never use it again?
 

drdroo

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If they are smart they won't produce another portable. Look at Slacker, look at TeleNAV; they're all getting out of the hardware business and concentrating on what it is they do best. Everything is going to the iphone and BB's.
Slacker shouldn't have produced a portable in the first place. It was a really expensive way to go about things for a small company.

As far as I know, TeleNAV's core business isn't turn by turn directions, it's resource management. Not really a great example in this case since the cell phone makes a lot more sense (it has a built in GPS, making it easier to track the vehicle/person). When Garmin or Tomtom stop producing portable units, let me know.
 

Jon

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Let's talk about what 'qualifies' a 'listener'. Is this someone who installed the app? Is it someone who actually listens to the service? If it's the latter, how often are they listening? more than 20 hours a week?

What you quoted has a lot of holes and more questions than answers. I installed Pandora on my cell phone and used it all of twice. Does that mean Pandora has a 'new subscriber' and 'subscriber growth' due to that use even though I'll never use it again?
I imagine Subscriber in this case means paid. $48 a year for Slacker plus (less expensive than satellite radio on a yearly basis) which gives you no commercials (which are only one per half hour as it is), the ability to turn off DJs (of which there is only one station that has them), unlimited skips, favorites and bans of songs AND artists. Even if they're not paid, they still listen enough to warrant keeping the app, and the numbers of new listeners on the blackberry app alone average 35 percent a day. They're at 10 million as of the writing of that article, how long before they catch up, and surpass SiriusXM numbers? I'd give it a year, or less at the rate of churn for satellite.

Even Pandora gained 2 million listeners (I think I have that number right) once the iPhone app was introduced. I personally downloaded it the first day I got the phone, and have kept it since. I may even subscribe to Pandora One at $31 a year (also cheaper than satellite radio) to get more features. But for now the regular Pandora service works.
 

drdroo

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I imagine Subscriber in this case means paid.
You can imagine what you like, but proof that these are paid people and not just an e-mail address? Same goes for Pandora.

You see, people would say the same thing about 'trial' users of XM Streaming on iPhone, which for all I know SiriusXM is counting as subs (since we've seen some fun things from Sirius in the past).

However, without some raw stats, this is a non-starter. Your arguments about cost vs Satellite Radio are also a waste of time, since you have other costs (like the cell phone service itself) that aren't included, but more importantly the discussion is currently about adoption and the 'trend shift'. Your argument about the 'trend shift' should be sticking with consistent users (or subscribers) of the services, not that it's 'cheaper' than Satellite radio.
 

Jon

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Slacker shouldn't have produced a portable in the first place. It was a really expensive way to go about things for a small company.
I agree, I've seen slacker's portables in person and they aren't much. Sticking with the smartphone apps was a wise decision despite the fact that they shouldn't have produced hardware in the first place. They seem to be reaping the benefits of it since downloads of their service are going up on Blackberry. And they're in the top 15 downloaded music apps on the iPhone App store (SiriusXM is #4 interestingly enough, and clear channel beats them all :eek: with iHeartRadio, which is a nice app I concede, but still, Clear Channel?)
 

drdroo

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with iHeartRadio, which is a nice app I concede, but still, Clear Channel?)
I live in Clearchannel hell. I don't understand this either but is it just music content or does it also include talk feeds? If it has talk, it's possible some station is sending out a really popular show each day like Rush, Hannity, etc. I don't listen to any of those guys, but millions of people do.
 

Jon

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I live in Clearchannel hell. I don't understand this either but is it just music content or does it also include talk feeds? If it has talk, it's possible some station is sending out a really popular show each day like Rush, Hannity, etc. I don't listen to any of those guys, but millions of people do.
It does have talk and it does have Rush, Hannity and all those, as well as Jim Rome. So that's probably where they get the numbers from. I personally listen to KFI (for Leo Laporte) and WLW on occasion so I use it myself. Still surprising that it's beating everything else.
 

drdroo

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It does have talk and it does have Rush, Hannity and all those, as well as Jim Rome. So that's probably where they get the numbers from. I personally listen to KFI (for Leo Laporte) and WLW on occasion so I use it myself. Still surprising that it's beating everything else.
Rush and Hannity have over 10 million listeners a week I believe. I could see them getting at least a few hundred thousand from an online app. I really think if Rush came to Satellite radio, it would basically kill the rest of terrestrial.

I used to listen to Phil Hendrie when he was on KFI and syndicated through a local Clearchannel affiliate. He restarted his show on different affiliates but never ended up back on radio here. I listen to him online if I'm not listening to Stern though.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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I don't see another portable happening. New PNP's with the complete service, and working on getting the OEM market to get both services at once, or barring that, merging the two spectrums. I do see XM bringing their app and 'Skydock capabilities' to other devices like Windows Mobile, BB, etc. Those who still want a PNP, which will be the closest thing to a portable, will still have it. Those who want XM in their car will still have it. Those who want portability will find it on their smart phone.
I don't see any complete spectrum radios happening. The Mirge was it. It sold like shit and I doubt they are interested in spending the extra money and effort on that. The FCC condition has been satisfied. Development closed.

Long term I see them moving OEM to all XM or all Sirius. This will allow them 10-15 years from now to plan to mothball the other service and expand the chosen ones bandwidth.

I think Sirius XM should continue to offer portables (not necessarly new ones). They are the cheapest method of non-fixed content delivery (radio). People who depend on their phone for their music needs may find themselves with less money in their pockets. A satrad sub is still more economical than any cellphone data plan. Unlike DAB and yourself, I think there are enough portable users to warrent some attention. Like I said earlier, just make the SL2 and XMP3 radios function as advertised.
 

drdroo

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I don't see any complete spectrum radios happening. The Mirge was it. It sold like shit and I doubt they are interested in spending the extra money and effort on that. The FCC condition has been satisfied. Development closed.
The MiRGE intentionally sold like shit. Only Sirius and XM could sell it. There's a reason why no-one saw it on the TSS page or on Bestbuy.com, etc. The way it was handled really demonstrates it was a halfhearted attempt to appease the FCC.

We could have a unit that has a superchipset and work with either (or both) services, etc. It could've probably already even been out, if they had wanted to go that route.

Long term I see them moving OEM to all XM or all Sirius. This will allow them 10-15 years from now to plan to mothball the other service and expand the chosen ones bandwidth.
I'm surprised that hasn't happened yet, but when you look at the OEM channel and see that plans are made years in advance, I would suspect this is part of it.

A satrad sub is still more economical than any cellphone data plan.
The Satellite Radios are better about battery life than a cell phone continuously on data as well. I don't see any phones that can do 8 hours of continuous data.

I do make jokes about "I would've taken your call but I drained my battery listening to music." :)

Unlike DAB and yourself, I think there are enough portable users to warrent some attention. Like I said earlier, just make the SL2 and XMP3 radios function as advertised.
Agreed. The XMP3 could use some brush up on the scheduling but otherwise seems to work fine (for me anyway). The SL2 is the same situation except their scheduling and software quirks need some brush up.

I think in both cases the hardware is 'sound' and doesn't need re-inventing.
 

no1hedberg

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Wow this thread skidded off course and crashed into a mountain.. If Sirius stopped producing portables that would be bad for me. I use my sl2 every day...warts and all. If they do make a new Sirius portable, all I need is an SL2 with the bugs fixed, and multi-tuner capabilities like the xmp3. I can't believe xm made such a nice radio with such lame recording options. Then again pre-bos there really wasn't anything on xm anyone would want to record. Here's hoping the Stiletto isn't dead.
 

Jon

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The Satellite Radios are better about battery life than a cell phone continuously on data as well. I don't see any phones that can do 8 hours of continuous data.
That's inaccurate. The iPhone 3GS can do 9 hours on Wifi, 5 on 3G.

Apple - iPhone - Technical Specifications

The 3G does 6 hours on Wifi. Which is still decent, but it's not 9.

Just for giggles I looked up Blackberry and it says 38 hours of "Music playback time", whether that includes a service like Slacker, or your own personal collection on an SD card, or a little of both is the question since it doesn't specify. But it goes to show that listening on a device like that is doable.
 

drdroo

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That's inaccurate. The iPhone 3GS can do 9 hours on Wifi, 5 on 3G.
Look at actual reviews on what can be done and it's much less. Also, any extreme numbers assume perfect signal. Anyone who's ever had AT&T realizes that the phone still works at (and is often at) half signal but the battery power does drain at a higher rate.

Just for giggles I looked up Blackberry and it says 38 hours of "Music playback time"
Music playback means using the built in player, not streaming media.
 

Jon

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Look at actual reviews on what can be done and it's much less. Also, any extreme numbers assume perfect signal. Anyone who's ever had AT&T realizes that the phone still works at (and is often at) half signal but the battery power does drain at a higher rate.
I don't doubt it for a second, but if, like me, you listen in a wifi area (my house), 99 percent of the time, the battery life isn't going to be greatly affected if you listen for an hour or so. Not to mention AT&T has made significant network improvements in several areas, including mine. Where I was lucky to get EDGE before I can now get 5 bars continuous 3G coverage. Even in the basement of my place which wasn't happening before the upgrade.

Technology is evolving at a faster rate than ever, and will continue to accelerate as time goes on. 5 years from now, there will be something better that makes the iPhone or Blackberry look like an AM/FM Walkman by comparison. 10 years ago most people wouldn't have dreamed of ever needing a wireless phone much less owning one, now they're ubiquitous. And smartphones of all kinds that can handle such capacities like streaming radio are becoming the norm.

I don't put down XM's equipment, I had a Roady XT at one time when I was a subscriber, I do think if XM is smart, they will phase out their equipment, while continuing to support their old models, if only for a limited period of time, and turning to streaming over internet and data lines. As I assure they will, and have already begun with the Skydock and iPhone app. By that point the adoption rate for smartphones will be higher, and the technology greater, and there will be no excuse to have any other way to listen short of an OEM install.
 

drdroo

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I don't doubt it for a second, but if, like me, you listen in a wifi area (my house), 99 percent of the time, the battery life isn't going to be greatly affected if you listen for an hour or so.
That's great, but go look up the stats for people commuting to work and how long those commutes are. I myself have an hour commute each way and I live in Rural America. You're not the norm by any stretch. Most of us are in a cab, subway, bus, or our own cars, then in some sort of office (or in the field).

I work for TSS, but I'm an Engineer in the Rural Broadband industry most of my day.

10 years ago most people wouldn't have dreamed of ever needing a wireless phone much less owning one, now they're ubiquitous.
I had a cell phone 10 years ago. 8 years ago I had free incoming and 700 minutes a month. I think you need to look back 15-20 years ago.

I do think if XM is smart, they will phase out their equipment
Their satellites are already paid for and do not cost per KB or per GB fees. Why would they do such a stupid thing?

turning to streaming over internet and data lines.
See above.

As I assure they will, and have already begun with the Skydock and iPhone app.
Skydock uses the satellites I mention above. It's merely another way to get access to the satellite content. Did I mention the satellites are already paid for and bandwidth on the Internet isn't free?

Oh, and did I mention the satellites cover all of the US and Canada, unlike the cell networks?

I think you need to see a coverage map sometime for cell carriers. For the amazing places they DO cover, there's a massive amount of places they do not.

I'm glad you're not running SiriusXM.
 

DAB

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I haven't seen a XM alacarte option. Why wasn't there a requirement for XM?
I have no idea, maybe as long as there was at least one service of the two offering it that satisifed the FCC's requirement. Why do it for both if it isn't really required.

We shouldn't have to nudge anyone. We offer solutions for both services, Coke or Pepsi. If SiriusXM doesn't want us to sell for one service or the other, they should stop allowing activations on the one they don't care about. Of course, they should also buy back our left-over radio stock if they intend to do that.

I just don't see that happening however. They have a choice really. They can either make money using the satellites, which are already up there (the big expensive cost) or they can have them floating around in the sky. Makes more sense to make money.

Also don't forget they're not merged in Canada either.
It isn't We, TSS is just a retailer this will be a decision by Sirius XM. I do think it is going to happen and in fact already believe it has. It will become clear over time what their ultimate plan is. Also where do you get that they aren't going to use their sats, they have many, many years of being required to do a dual service, but at some point when sats start nearing the end of their life cycles a decision will be made. You can pretent that isn't going to happen all you want, but them running this service forever as two separate networks makes zero sense. In the mean time them making a clear decison to push one network over the other is likely very possible because it just makes business sense to do so.

Sirius Canada can be taken care of with contracts and provided that they content is carried, which they will EASILY be able to do when they aren't wasting spectrum duplicating channels on two separate networks. There is nothing here that isn't fixable. Sirius XM in the US is one company. There is nothing that says Sirius XM can't continue to provide a feed for separate companies in Canada.


If they keep waiting, they will have more potential for those pissed off customers to be distracted by a multitude of other options that aren't Satellite Radio instead of buying new hardware and switching services.
The waiting is not by choice it is what they agreed to do for merger approval. Sat radio subscribers are already distracted by a multitude of other options, why do you think for the last 3 quarters they have had net subscriber losses after figuring adds vs churn. That is a trend they have to change and the Skydock is just one more hope they have to buck this trend. Will it work? I hope for their sake it does! Tapping into 70 million potential subscribers was a smart move. It should not stop there.
 

drdroo

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I have no idea, maybe as long as there was at least one service of the two offering it that satisifed the FCC's requirement. Why do it for both if it isn't really required.
True. I would've thought since you can contact XM to lock out certain channels, it would be easier to do on there instead of Sirius which required different hardware.

It will become clear over time what their ultimate plan is.
Agreed. It should've already been clear, but so far it's still somewhat muddy.

Also where do you get that they aren't going to use their sats, they have many, many years of being required to do a dual service, but at some point when sats start nearing the end of their life cycles a decision will be made.
My point was that they should make the decision now instead of waiting and that would cause a shift of customers ahead of the end of the life cycle. The phrase 'sh** or get off the pot' comes to mind. They can't disband the network tomorrow, but they could put the writing on the wall in permanent ink.

If they keep waiting, they will have more potential for those pissed off customers to be distracted by a multitude of other options that aren't Satellite Radio instead of buying new hardware and switching services.
[/QUOTE]

If some people have their way and try to turn this company into an overglorified Internet radio provider, people'll be pissed and leave anyway.

Time will tell.
 

DAB

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My point was that they should make the decision now instead of waiting and that would cause a shift of customers ahead of the end of the life cycle. The phrase 'sh** or get off the pot' comes to mind. They can't disband the network tomorrow, but they could put the writing on the wall in permanent ink.
You and I agree 100% on this, I think they should make their plan known. However, I don't think the FCC will allow them to pull the plug on one service over the other one because of their agreement. What they can do is put out cool equipment for just one side and let it happen by itseld over time. They can also do this with OEM's but this does take some lead time to happen. I have a friend, who's father that works within Ford's Corporate headquarters and he is telling me that they are already in the planning stages of moving to XM Network on Ford's vehicles. How true that really is, I have no idea, but if this is true I think it is clear which network they plan to move too ultimately.

To me though I think you just quit activating and selling equipment for one network and this by itself will force users to go with the network you want them too. Then you only have those few that will hold on to equipment until hell freezes over to deal with. Who knows they may do this, but feel it is a bit soon to take this action. Either way they go about it start it now or wait till later there will be those subscribers pissed off.
 

drdroo

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You and I agree 100% on this, I think they should make their plan known. However, I don't think the FCC will allow them to pull the plug on one service over the other one because of their agreement.
I'm sure that's the case, but you could still probably make your long term intentions known, which would be more like a 'death sentence'. :)

I have no idea, but if this is true I think it is clear which network they plan to move too ultimately.
They probably have enough room to put Sirius Travellink over on the XM sats if they haven't already too. I do think XM's solution would be a step backwards for Ford, but easy to fix.

To me though I think you just quit activating and selling equipment for one network and this by itself will force users to go with the network you want them too. Then you only have those few that will hold on to equipment until hell freezes over to deal with. Who knows they may do this, but feel it is a bit soon to take this action. Either way they go about it start it now or wait till later there will be those subscribers pissed off.
Well it would be good for our repair business anyway. I have nothing wrong with Activations still going on, I just think at the very least there should be a hardware freeze. There's some mixed messages now seeing as Stratus 6 is coming out.

Between the sat launch (which we're agreed on a plausible reason) and some new hardware releases for Sirius, we've seen a bit of a 'glimmer of hope'. It's much easier when the company is just out with their plan that something is eventually going away. Companies do this all the time (analog cell phone turnoff comes to mind).

I do also think if they had a synergy on the subscription offerings they would dilute both services to hardware choices (and some coverage considerations in some places). The "Best of XM" and "Best of Sirius" nonsense just prolongs a firm subscriber shift. Why pay 16.99 when you can get Sirius for 12.95 to get Stern, for instance. SiriusXM would obviously prefer you pay 16.99 and the customer would prefer to pay 12.95.

You can reduce pissing off the customers by not jerking them around, but also by communicating. We've talked at length previously about Sirius (and now SiriusXM)'s lack of communicating to the customer.