What if SIRIUS XM never produced another portable?

Discussion in 'Sirius Portables' started by TSS Taylor, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    Use the same satellites you have been using, just change the transmission mechanism. How it gets delivered to the phone isn't the issue, it's whether the company wants to continue to waste money they barely have on delivering pnp radioes that don't sell, and building their own portables when there is superior technology available right now.

    Satellite radio as it stands now is still a niche. It's been 5 years and they still can't get 20 million subscribers. And the numbers have been going down, not up. The important thing with Internet Radio is the demographic of its listeners skews younger. I don't know one person under the age of 35 that can name their favorite local radio station. Because they're listening to iPods or Internet streams, or finding their music online, and through friends.

    In the next 2-5 years, car companies will adopt more wireless internet in cars, which means the ability to listen to Slacker, or Radio Paradise or whatever you choose in the car while you're driving, even out in the sticks. The same people listening to Internet Radio on their devices, and on their PCs are going to be the ones who are buying those cars. If satellite radio is to survive, they need to learn to adapt to that. No matter what the ruminations of someone who's unwisely dumped thousands of dollars into satellite radio hardware, and will leave in a huff if that hardware is rendered useless may be. Satellite radio is not the future. And won't be unless they get with the program.
  2. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    I hope they enjoy their internet radio in the car. I am sure that some ISP or cellphone provider will be very happy with them for making sure their execs get new swimming pools. I will not be contributing to the swimming pool fund myself. If it comes to that, I would go with my MP3 player. And I still don't know how this in car WiFi will work when there are places I can drive now and not get any type of cell phone signal (analogue or digital).
  3. TSS Taylor

    TSS Taylor DRC Fan

    It's so great that SIRIUS XM seems to be focusing on some new technologies like the iPhone. If they give up their core base of subscribers it would be insane. We deal with so many customers that don't use computers or emails, let alone iPhones. People too easily get lured into their own worlds thinking everyone is up to speed like they are.

    I talked to a good friend who is Satellite Radio and Apple Obsessed. We were talking about the Skydock and I asked him if it appealed to him as an iPhone user. It didn't. Because he loves his two Stilettos. He uses them to do things the Skydock can't like record shows and content. It's something that you won't get with the iPhone app and not likely something Apple would approve.

    Catering to the many subscribers through niche features, and broadcasts forms is the way to go. Not taking things away like how the content is distributed, or what features people can use. The Portables like Stilettos, and XMP3s do things that are unique and provide an added service beyond something like a Dock and Play radio or a Skydock.

    The Skydock is the missing link to pull someone with an iPod touch into Satellite. But it's not really the device that that will use as much as someone who can make tons of use of their Stiletto by taking that 1 subscription all over the place like portable, home, car. The Skydock has more limits. We will see. So far the Skydock is not really getting out there like expected. Like the Stilettos did when they came out. So it may be time to not get too ahead of the curve and give up on things like the XM and SIRIUS Portables.
    IdRatherBeSkiing likes this.
  4. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    That is a personal preference and folks like you will get left behind there is no doubt about it. That will be your choice to make, but I think Jon is correct about the changing times and technology and were al this is likely headed at some point.

    I have to say that the cellular networks in my area are very strong, it is very unusual anymore to go into areas where you just don't have coverage. I travel a great deal all over my state, especially in rural areas and the coverage is rock solid. Over time this will get better too. I also think Jon isn't saying TODAY, he is saying in the future. You just seem stuck man or unwilling to accept the reality of where we are heading. I think their will always be some hardware choices for Sirius in regards to the sat delivery of service. But it is also in their best interest to compete in the phone sector too, to ignore that would be a bad, bad decision. No one is going to force you to do anything you don't want to do. Since when is having a choice a bad thing?

    I think you are correct Sirius has to move towards applications for streaming on various phones, plus the Skydock really seems pretty cool and there is a huge potential audience with 70 millions iPod Touch and iPhone owners already out there. I don't think this product was intended to get folks to rush out and get an iPhone or even an iPod Touch. For those like myself that already had one it is a no brainer. I think the Skydock is one of those products that aren't going to set the world on fire until enough of them get out there and iPhone and iPod Touch users start hearing about them. Right now this is a totally untapped market and most still have no clue about this even being available. Unlike Sirius or XM portables where all the geeks rush out to buy them, I don't see that happening with the Skydock until enough of them get out there and interest builds in the Apple community. I also don't suspect a lot of current PNP or Portable owners are going to just automatically convert to the Skydock either because as you said it does have some limitations. I don't record, I don't listen to Howard, so streaming when not listening int he car works for me. Everyone is different!

    I also do not feel that Sirius will abandon their core satellite subs by eliminating hardware all together. I do think right now they are in a holding pattern on portables and testing out this phone stuff. If it doesn't catch on I suspect we'll see more portables, if it does catch on, we may not. I do think there will always be PNP's and of course they will push forward with a strong OEM program (which in everything you read they still feel is the area they need to gain in more than any other area).

    I think it would be crazy for Sirius to totally drop hardware in favor of phones and other devices. By the same token I think it would have been a mistake not to tackle the Phone sector and ignore it, while you've got so many other options out there like Pandora, Slacker to name a few. Also lets not forget all these freaking apps coming out that delivers much of the same content available via sports and talk now days. Most of these are free services too!

    Unlike some folks who seem to think MY GOD I have to get sat reception. There are a great number of folks out there that are just as happy and content streaming rather it be through their phone or even on their computers at home. They aren't worried about spending extra money on their ISP or for a data plan on their phones. I just love all these excuses that folks give for this not being a viable and working area for Sirius to be moving towards. That is just totally backwards thinking and one that Sirius XM cannot afford to adopt. Sirius will find the proper balance between all these technologies will continuing to support PNP's and OEM's. They are simply not going to go to a total streaming service, I just don't see that in the cards for a very, very long time if ever.
  5. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    If it becomes affordable, I will consider it. I am not going to pay $30+/month for commercial free music. I also wonder how pickey Sirius XM can be when it does not have mainstream appeal. It is a niche market provider (a fairly big niche or more accuratly a big collection of smaller niches but a niche nonetheless) and as such, one can't really afford to piss off too many of ones niches. I can't see them surviving as a internet only provider. What other internet radio has the debt of launching sats? What is their selling point?

    I have simular experience in developed areas. But driving from point A to point B sometimes takes one outside that area.

    I know exactly what he was/is saying. He believes that Sirius XM should turn off the sats and focus exclusively on this mythical internet everywhere model. The one that is always about 1 to 2 years away.
  6. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Yes, I gather that is what he was saying as well, but I don't agree. I think moving into the phone and other gagets for streaming and or creating a dock type solution is something they have to do. However, they've got to continue taking care of their sat customers with new equipment and especially working towards a solid solution with OEM's. This will continue to be their bread and butter for a long time. Though I do see a trend towards what Jon is suggesting, but like you I never see Sirius XM being a streaming only service.
  7. Vargas

    Vargas Molon Labe!

    I just don't see the internet radio providers like Slacker, Pandora etc making it in the long run. I'm sure they're both cool services and I'm not hoping for their demise. Here is why I don't think they make it:

    People are lazy. Period. having to go in and customize your own stations and build all of this music just so you MIGHT hear it on the radio is silly. People don't want to work that hard. People already have to download mp3's, they don't want to have to build their own stations and customize "the perfect rock station."
    Internet Radio enthusiasts are a SUPER NICHE audience, I mean super niche. Hell, at this point people can say that Sat. Rad is still a niche audience but a music enthusist who is going to pay for the privelege of building his or her own station is really a different breed. People just want to turn on a radio, beit terrestiral or satellite and just hear music.
  8. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Where did you get that you must create or build your own station. That is just an add on feature of both Pandora and Slacker, but not really necessary at all. I know Slacker has over 120 stations that are DJ programmed. You can with the touch of a button decide how deep they go or how hits based they are, but this is optional too.

    Pandora basically needs about 3 to 5 artist of a specific genre added to create a station and even as lazy as people are this is simple as pie. They too now have genre specific stations already programmed. Though not as many as Slacker!

    No offense Var, but you seem a bit out of touch with Slacker and Pandora! These services don't require you buy any equipment, they work on multiple devices now rather via Wifi or 3G. The application to get the service is free and if you want commerical free programming the subscription cost is about 1/4 of that of sat radio. Though again not really necessary as the advertising is far and few between.

    If convenience is a niche then I see your point, but I think these services have already taken a great many subscribers from Sirius and will continue to do so in the future. I know many people that use these in their office home, on their devices and they see no reason whatsoever to get Sirius XM. Why do you think Sirius is suddenly interested in Phones and other devices? It is simple they know they have got to be part of this growing sector or they will completely lose out.

    Slacker after a few short years will be profitable next year and now with them getting out of the hardware business, they are primed for long term. In fact I think I read they have lots of cash on hand too with some solid investors. They don't have a the large infrustrusture or content cost that Sirius XM has either. I can see how these guys can make it easily.

    Pandora is a bit different in that they have struggled, but I think they are finally getting solid as well. The iPhone and other apps have allowed them to sell subs as well.

    This may well be a niche, but I think these services will thrive if they continue to make the right moves. I see nothing stopping them, especially not Sirius XM as much as I love that service. People don't like having to buy hardware and connecting it and getting a signal. I wonder how many folks returned sat radio because of having to jump threw so many hoops to get reception. We already know the average consumer has hell just running an antenna in the vehicle much less at home. So how does that play into your lazy scenario?
  9. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    I just want to point out that nowhere have I suggested that creating an iDock was a bad idea. I just don't believe it should be the only iron in the fire.
  10. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Well outside of Jon I've not seen anyone suggest it should be the only iron in the fire. You just seem to take all this stuff rather personally when myself and others mentioned this was a move in the right direction and if these type applications caught on that it was likely Sirius may not make anymore portables. I do believe that, I think if these streaming applications and Skydock take off, they won't invest any more money in portables which was only sold to a very niche audience. The R&D and continuing support simply isn't worth it to them. Doing this for smart-phones cost them very little! However, maybe I misread your staunch responses and if so, my bad!
  11. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing Sherbert is not and never will be ice cream

    Well, I think we do disagree on the size of the portable market and its importance to Sirius XM in the future. Since there doesn't seem to be any published data on the subject, it may just be best to agree to disagree on the matter.
  12. Vargas

    Vargas Molon Labe!

    You're right, I really don't know much about either service. I don't have either service and don't ever see myself getting either service due to having SiriusXM. However, I, like most people got Sirius for reasons NOT related to the music. Whether you got it for STern, NFL, Nascar, etc, I don't see how operations like Slacker and Pandora can provide original entertaiment programming without having the big bucks or their own hardware. For as little as were saying the Sirius portables sold, I would bet that the Slacker G1 and G2 probably hasn't sold more than a fraction of these units in comparison. So, if you're only getting these services for music, why not just download your own MP3's on a player that you already have.

    Sirius, XM and now SiriusXM really need to rely on new car sales and units built into cars. I totally agree that a lot of people probably got a radio as a gift, didn't know how to install it, didn't want to pay to have it installed and just returned it--laziness wins again.

    I don't see Slacker being included in the new line of cars trucks from any manufacturer due to no national wifi service and also consumers not really being educated or interested.
  13. JoeTan

    JoeTan Well-Known Member

    I say as the technology shrinks it'll show up in more places. I wouldn't be surprised if they came out with a setup that has the entire deal in the antenna and you just connect to a supported device and wha-la.

    Could be the other way too. Make any metal surface work as an antenna so you only have to run the antenna wire to the fire wall and install is done.
  14. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    The size of the portable market is much larger now that they have applications that allow phones and other devices to receive the service with a $2.99 add on fee for the Premium Service. This is about income for Sirius!

    In my book there is nothing to agree to disagree about! Both of us can only speculate about what we see. I just think I am more open minded about it than you are.

    I would disagree that MOST got Sirius XM for something other than the music. I think many got it for Stern and it would seem many have grown rather bored with him. None the less that is another topic all together. I think there are a lot of subscribers that very much so enjoy the music service that Sirius XM provides. I also don't think it is necessary for Slacker or Pandora to get into expensive content in order to have a market, they have already proved that. I think it also proves that your assumptions that music programming in and of itself isn't enough to engage subscribers. Sirius XM doing all this expensive content almost cost them to go bankrupt that was a mistake these companies didn't want to make. Sirius was a perfect example of what you do not do!

    Also why do people prefer these services to buying and maintaining their on libraries. You summed it up already.... LAZINESS! It is a lot easier for me to pay $3.99 per month for Slacker and have all the music I could possible need or want, provided to me via their stations, but this also gives me the ability play around with the depth and also block artist I don't like. You can't do that on sat radio even at $12.95 per month.

    Why would Slacker need to be included in a new lines of cars? They are going after the portable market, not the OEM car market. Those are two different animals! I think the OEM car market is important and in fact a must have for Sirius, not so with Slacker and Pandora. Think about the number of portable devices out there and having Pandora or Slacker on all of them, why do they need to worry about OEM's... in my book they don't! However with that said, I can listen to Slacker or Pandora via 3G on my iPhone just fine in my car plugged into my head unit via the aux-input.

    Since you have never had these services and apparently have no desire to even find out about them, your argument just doesn't hold up! I think these companies are viable and good competition for Sirius. I also think there is plenty of subscribers to go around for them all. Some aren't interested in sat radio because of the investment necessary. Some want to be able to listen to Howard and he is only available on sat radio, unless you want to snag the programming off the web for free. You can bet your ass there are a lot of folks doing that and Sirius XM isn't getting a penny.

    The good news is that Sirius XM is now moving into this sector too, so they can have their basis covered rather you are a phone/device owner who isn't interested in Sirius hardware or you have hardware available for those that wish to go to the next level with sat radio. Honestly most of the content on sat other than Howard is available elsewhere these days. I also don't think everyone is as lazy as you seem to think either, but that is debatable. :)
  15. Vargas

    Vargas Molon Labe!

    1. I didn't get Sirius for the music but I love the music on it but the music was certainly a secondary thing for me at least.

    2. I totally agree that it is great that Sirius is moving toward this portable app sector with IPHONE and BLACKBERRY. The more people we can get this product in the hands of, the better--and I think ALL OF US HERE AT DRC would agree with this.
  16. Argji

    Argji Member

    Hey gang, it’s all good! Thank God we have options such as SiriusXM, Slacker, Pandora and other Internet-based radio options. We could be sitting around bemoaning how bad our local Clear-channel crapfests are!

    I don’t know how the future will evolve, but I think the more ways to pull in and please folks would be the way to go.
  17. drdroo

    drdroo #1 by Women 18-24 Staff Member

    Hah I still do that anyway. They own most of the radio in the state. It's great, you hear a song on one station and within 15 minutes it's on another CC station. It's the smartest programming in radio. *shakes head*.
  18. JoeTan

    JoeTan Well-Known Member

    Tried to listen to WBCN yesterday....doesn't even exist anymore!!!! FM is OVER
  19. drdroo

    drdroo #1 by Women 18-24 Staff Member

    Yeah once Stern left, WBCN took the downward spiral and changed format a few months ago. It really sums up how much Stern was holding up the house of cards in the major market FM world.
  20. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    Yes, Clear Channel owns about 8 frequencies in the Denver Metro Area and those stations are worse for it. They include some heritage call letters like KTCL, which once broadcasted out of Fort Collins, CO and was similar to your average college station (Fort Collins being a college town after all.) Along with KBCO which was playing stuff like Elvis Costello and Melissa Etheridge before anyone knew who they were. Today, they still are, but the same three songs over and over again. Along with KBPI which is Active Rock, which pretty much means all AC/DC and Metallica all the time.

    The next car I get, if it doesn't have satellite radio, will at least have an AUX plug-in to play Internet Radio off my iPhone so I can avoid the crap. Maybe both if I can swing it.

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