I already know that the passionate fans of Sirius XM will not appreciate this article, but the fact of the matter is that Sirius XM needs to smarten up in the smart phone arena. If you love this company, you would want them doing their best, not try to make excuses for something that is being executed poorly. Yes, Sirius XM has apps on iPhone, Blackberry and Android, but those apps could be more feature rich, and in some cases, they could be better advertised.
This past Thursday my Motorola Droid broke and essentially became useless to me. A hard reset did not work, and my only option was a new phone. I went into a Verizon store, and saw advertisements for Pandora as well as Slacker, and NOTHING about Sirius XM. When I got to the counter I noticed a page of bar codes that a droid user could scan with their droid to get some of the "coolest apps". There was Slacker with their very own bar code. No Sirius XM.
My new phone automatically pulled over all of my apps from my account....EXCEPT THE SIRIUS XM app. Why? Because as of this date Sirius XM's app on Android is STILL NOT IN THE APP MARKETPLACE!
As most readers here know, I follow Sirius XM closely. Here is what I had to go through to download my app.
1. Go to Sirius.com
2. Type android into the search box
3. Enter my email for a "Free 7 Day Trial"
4. Wait for Sirius XM to send the email
5. Open the email, and click the link to download the file.
6. Search the downloads folder on my droid
7. Locate Sirius XM app and press install
How many people unfamiliar with Sirius XM are going to take these steps? How many people that already have an on-line account are going to get "tripped-up" by the "free trial" lingo and simply opt not to do it? How many people are going to take their phone and scan the Slacker logo? Ho many people are going to search the Marketplace for apps, and if Sirius XM is not there, assume it is not available?
The fact of the matter is that Android is 2010's best selling smart phone line. The Android platform has even dominated Apple this year! Why is it that MONTHS after the launch of the Sirius XM app, it still can not find its way into the app Marketplace where consumers look for the apps that they want? Sirius Xm can have the best content in the world, but if it is poorly marketed it will fall onto deaf ears!
How does a droid user get Pandora?
1. Open up App Marketplace
2. Scroll to Pandora, or type it in the search on the marketplace
3. Press the install button
It has been all over the news that services like Pandora are getting a huge response from the smart phone market. One key reason is that they are in the market place and their sign-up process is simple, understandable, and concise. We all know that smart phones are going to do more and more. I understand that signals drop at times, and I understand that Internet pays higher royalties. Neither of those shortcomings is going to stop people from buying smart phones and trying to explore music on them.
It is unfortunate that Sirius XM seems so behind the curve in this arena. The Sirius XM apps all function as they should, and deliver the audio content. I would like to see more features on the apps, but more importantly, I think they need to get their collective butts into the app store on each service. Another suggestion. Throw out the 7 day trial and make it 30. You have one chance to get the attention of someone. Make the most of it and let them explore the full line-up!
Position - Long Sirius XM Radio