Mark ramsey has a short post on satellite its worth reading imho
4. What folks will pay for will be changing
In the future it is far more likely that listeners will subscribe to a filter rather than a distribution channel.
That sentence is one of the most important I will write this year, so it's important that you understand it.
A "filter" is content from a particular point of view. It could be a personality, a theme, or some other coherent stream of meaning. It is not necessarily a "channel" as satellite currently uses the term and it's certainly not the distribution system that is "satellite radio."
For example, Howard Stern is a filter. Listeners could theoretically subscribe to Howard Stern directly whether or not they subscribe to the rest of what Sirius offers, just as broadcasters can take one show from Premiere or Air America and leave the rest on the table.
But that filter isn't simply the show, it's all-things-Howard across all distribution platforms. It's digital, it's audio, it's video, it's text, it's community, etc.
My point is this: Sirius XM stands to gain a lot more profit by monetizing filters than by trying to hawk radios from a dark corner of Best Buy.
Why pay for "Sirius XM" when I can pay for the content universe that most appeals to me, especially when that content is not limited to audio only?
What's scarce in this world isn't 120 channels of commercial free music. What's scarce is talent. And the companies capable of and interested in creating a filtered universe of media content around that talent in order to monetize it in every way possible: Subscription, licensing, merchandise, advertising, you name it.
This is the future of satellite radio that so far has yet to be realized. So you can't count them out.
But it remains to be seen whether they will see their own future as clearly as I have.
PS If you are reading implications from these points into what terrestrial radio should be doing, you're very clever. More on that in a later post.