Sirius XM listeners should be well aware at this point that there has been a channel shuffle. Part of the merger synergies involved removing duplicate style content, and in that process, some people lost their favorite channels. While that is a frustrating situation, there may still be life in that channel, and its respective playlist.
Sirius and XM both have Internet feeds. Subscribers to the service have the ability to listen to most of the content offered by the satellite feed by streaming it over the net. In the past, XM has taken stations off of the satellite feed but still allowed users to stream it on the net. While this would not satisfy your desire to hear the channel in your car, at least you could catch your favorite channel at home or in the office.
With the advent of applications that allow you to access the Internet over the cell phone, a potential solution that is viable may exist. Better still, there is the possibility that the Internet service could surpass that which is offered over satellite. While satellite does allow hundreds of channels, there is a limit to the spectrum. The Internet will give you as much bandwidth as you want.
Perhaps the Internet feeds can be a proving ground for what gets to the satellite service, as well as develop a core set of fans. BoomBox and Beyond Jazz are examples of channels that fell victim to the new line-up. Fans of those channels have been vocal about their absence. Perhaps a partial solution is to put those, as well as the others on the Internet feed. This begins to make more sense when you consider the iPhone application StarPlayer. Why should the Internet feed be relegated to less content than the satellite service? It shouldn't.
The Internet streams will give program directors a place to experiment with formats, playlists, etc. They can develop channels to their hearts content, and even measure the successful efforts vs. those that are not making the grade. If a channel gets popular enough, consider taking it up to the big leagues.
An improved Internet service would begin to catch Sirius XM up to services such as Slacker. In fact, the company could imitate all of the great features Slacker has to offer. The Internet is what allows Slacker to have eleven holiday channels to suit any taste rather than the three or four offered by Sirius XM.
Sirius XM Radio has an opportunity to embrace Internet radio listeners like never before, and potentially make the Internet service listening a revenue stream rather than an additional cost. StarPlayer seems to have figured out a way to monetize their application, why can't Sirius XM do the same.
In the end, the company should boost the online service. Bring back some of those channels that people seem to be clamoring for, and take the next step in creating Sirius XM as an Internet destination for music listening. Give the loyal listeners the gift of a better Internet service complete with additionall channels and content.
Position: Long Sirius XM.