This patent seems to have some people excited. First let me say thank you to those that have e-mailed the link to me (NJguy and crfceo). Tips from readers often can become articles, but this patent was covered some time ago, and those that have been following the sector a while are already familiar with it.
This patent made the rounds a few years ago. It can be used to insert a commercial load into channels for low tier "subscribers" while a subscriber with a higher tier will not hear commercials. This helps to conserve bandwidth.
This is an aspect of the business model that many have felt Sirius an XM would have eventually gotten to anyway, regardless of the merger.
The discussion a few years back centered on a day when all SDARS radios would get a commercially based service free, and the subscription service would be remove the commercials.
It is because of this concept that I have such concerns over the Georgetown Partners proposal. Their proposal would strip away bandwidth for a service that Sirius and XM have already been working on for quite some time now, and remove business synergies. Sirius and XM need to maintain their rights to operate the business in its natural course. GP is IMO trying to take the next natural step away from Sirius and XM and keep it for themselves.
The synergies of the concept happen in that they do not need to program new channels. They simply add commercials to the service of those getting it free. While the free subscriber hears 20 minutes of commercials each hour, the premium subscriber gets commercial free music. Essentially, while commercials are playing for some, another song is playing for others.
At the point in time when SDARS got this running, the ad revenue would be substantial, and the work to accomplish it minimal. In addition, they would be getting ad revenue from non-subscribers.
While it is a good find, it was discovered a while back and discussed on boards like Sirius Backstage, XM411, and XM Fan, if I recall correctly, as well a few message boards. For many that have been around a while, this subject has been covered. For newer people, Perhaps it does warrant new discussion as it is indeed relevant to the current situation in SDARS.