In an interesting turn of events, it is quite possible that an advertisement read on the air by Howard Stern himself could pave the way for Sirius XM subscribers to catch his show on Apple iPhones and the iPod Touch. Howard, unlike other high profile talent on Sirius XM, has not been touting the new Sirius XM app, but he has been doing live reads for another iPhone app for LogMeIn Ignition.
LogMeIn is an application that allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to access their home or office computer from their devices. In the ad for LogMeIn Ignition, Howard touts, "If it's on your computer, it's on your iPhone."
In theory, a consumer who downloads the LogMeIn Ignition app onto their iPhone has complete and unfettered access to their home computer through the device. A look at the LogMeIn Ignition website reveals that those that upgrade to the LogMeIn PRO function will allow users key features that should make listening to Howard 100/101, as well as other content not available through the iPhone app, very possible.
With LogMeIn Pro, you can do everything you can do with Free, but more. Pro also includes:
- Target-to-local printing: This means that if you choose to print anything from the target computer, you will receive it on your local printer.
- File Manager: With LogMeIn's File Manager you can quickly and securely transfer files between the local and the remote (target) computer
- Mini Meeting: You can a trusted friend or colleague to remotely view or control your Local PC's desktop.
- Remote Sound: You can hear any sounds locally (i.e. music, podcasts, email notifications) coming from your target computer.
While consumers would have to pay a small premium for such a service, the usefulness of a program such as LogMeIn Ignition goes beyond satellite radio. For hard core Howard Stern fans, baseball fans, etc. this could be a great solution.
The consumer aspect is quite obvious, but the interesting story is in the debate about Sirius XM not having the rights to include Stern on their iPhone app. Certainly Stern or his agent could not argue that an app such as LogMeIn Ignition violates his contract with Sirius XM, yet it is an app such as this that would allow consumers access to their already paid for Sirius XM subscription through their iPhone, via their home computer.
If you think about it, the iPod touch is nothing more than a mini computer, and the iPhone simply adds the ability to place phone calls. The Internet accessed on these devices is no different than the Internet accessed by a home computer, laptop, or the still smaller netbook computer. Thus, how much teeth could the Stern contract actually have unless it specifically excluded Apple, and even then there would seem to be a lot of holes in the stance. Howard broadcasts on the net, yet now he want to control what types of net connections are allowed to broadcast his show.
I have not yet tested whether the LogMeIn Ignition app will allow this, but in theory it should. There may also be aspects of the subscriber terms of service that would preclude a consumer from accessing Sirius XM content in this way, but in reality, how could the company ever police such use?
Clearly Howard and Sirius XM are trying to hammer out an agreement, but there is no telling how long that will take. Something tells me his own live read may be exhibit one in the contract debate. Fans of content such as Howard Stern, baseball, NASCAR, etc. may well consider a solution such as LogMeIn Ignition as a worth while alternative.
"If It's On Your Computer, It's On Your iPhone..." - Howard Stern
Position: Long Sirius XM, No Position Apple.