Radio is really not a very complicated business. You want to offer something that no one else can, to attract as many listeners as possible. Sirius XM has certainly nailed this part down! The biggest problem that Sirius XM seems to have not figured out, is where and when people actually listen to radio.
I know from personal experience that I rarely listen to radio at home. I always listen in my car, yet the time spent in my car is minimal. Sirius XM has, up to now, primarily sought subscribers from those people who listen in their cars.
Most people, in my opinion listen to radio AT WORK. Over the past 2 weeks, one observant reader of SiriusBuzz has pointed several times that Mad Dog Radio is not available on the Internet, and that many people are not in their cars between 2 to 5 P.M. Which has brought me back to this subject that I am adamant about.
There are over 11 million construction workers in the United States. Carpenters, Painters, Electricians, Plumbers, Sheet-rockers, Masons and Landscapers. Do you know what these people do all day, every day? They listen to RADIO! They don't listen to iPods. Instead they listen to the cheapest radios produced and sold at the highest possible price because they are made for a construction environment. Milwaukee, DeWalt and Bosch all make specific work-site radios for tradespeople, yet none of them are equipped with Satellite Radio. Can you guess what auto mechanics listen to at work? That's right, radio.
Most of America does not have the luxury of sitting at a desk all day or driving in their cars. They work! In my opinion, this is the largest pool of potential subscribers and they have been ignored for the most part.
There are nearly 70 million full-time employed adults at work during an average work day. That's nearly 6 times the combined annual US Auto Sales. At 5 PM more than 28,500,000 are still working. At 6 PM 16,100,000 are still working.
Rather than all this talk of iPods and high-tech devices, I think Sirius XM should reach out to the working man and woman. The middle class, rather than the BMW buyer. This was Sterns audience. Not the Mercedes Benz buyer. And people who work are the ones who can afford Satellite Radio. These are also the people that advertisers want to reach.
Position: Long SIRI