Over the past year satellite radio has been forced to reinvent itself. Sirius and XM, formerly competitors, were forced to merge to survive. Shortly after merging their programming the newly formed company declared this past February that it may have to file for bankruptcy. And while they averted any immediate shuttering of their doors thanks to an investment from Liberty Media, the satellite radio universe knows itâ€™s on thin ice.
Thatâ€™s why Sirius XM has been making some bold choices lately â€” choices that take the â€œsatelliteâ€ out of satellite radio. Until very recently, you would have needed a satellite radio unit to access any Sirius or XM programming. Now theyâ€™ve changed it so you can have an internet only subscription for $12.95 a month and listen directly through streaming. Up next? Sirius XM is looking to conquer your iPhone.
During their recent fourth quarter earnings conference call, Sirius executives David Frear, Mel Karmazin and Jim Meyer announced the expected second-quarter launch of the Sirius XM iPhone app. The app will allow you to take you Sirius subscription with you on the road without the need for a satellite radio unit. Like other internet radio options out there, the Sirius XM app will stream the music live from the channel of your choice.
As a fan of Sirius XM programming, itâ€™s hard not to get excited about this. But on the broader scale, will this really make an impact? As so many apps already exist to provide internet radio free of charge, will new subscribers really be drawn in by the possibility of sporting Sirius sounds sans satellite device? Or will it just be another nail in satellite radios coffin?