Tom Webster, writing and speaking

Satellite Radio Loses the Voice of the Consumer

Added on by Tom Webster.

Surely Sirius XM didn't just release a paid subscription model iPhone app that doesn't include Howard Stern, MLB NFL or other premium content? I realize that the rights to MLB and NFL on the iPhone are not theirs to sell, but they also didn't have to charge subscription fees, either. What Sirius XM has done here is far more sinister than this strategic error might initially suggest. What they have really done, by putting their service on the iPhone, amidst myriad other (free) apps like Pandora and Slacker, is to invite listeners to make the kind of apples-to-apples direct comparison to other services that was heretofore impossible with the satellite-only, dashboard-full-of-wires iteration of their previous offering. If all you have are an assortment of static, pre-programmed music channels and content I can get elsewhere on the iPhone and online, the direct comparisons are inevitable and inescapable. Why buy the cow when I can get the milk for free--especially when that 'milk' is as compelling as Pandora, Slacker and a host of other infinitely more customizable, personalized offerings? Far better would have been to make their non-premium offerings available for free (even with a one-time payment for the app) with the option to upgrade to get Howard and even custom music channels (as Slacker does). Satellite has lost its way, and lost the sound of the consumer's voice.