I do not know how much more blunt I can be, but the truth needs to be spoken, and consumers deserve much better than they are getting. Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) can have the best content on earth, but a poorly working app is no way to deliver it. How is it that a company bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue can not get an Android app to work correctly when all of their competition can.
About a month ago Sirius XM updated their iPhone app to include Satellite Radio 2.0 channels and features, yet somehow this company has ignored the largest and fastest growing smartphone platform. As a consumer with both an iPhone and a Droid I have experienced both apps. The iPhone app works....o.k., but the Android app is in desperate need of help. If you don't believe it, check out these comments made in the Android marketplace made over the last two days:
Rating System 1 to 5 stars (5 stars being the best)
** Sucks how it always wants to reset itself to check for updates 1/23/12
Bad App For Good Service * Drops out too often to enjoy music. Hard to believe it can have so many problems after so long in the market. Cancelling my subscription 1/23/12
Crappy - Cuts In and Out For Me Constantly * Evo 4G. It's almost not even worth it 1/23/12
Not Good * - Crashes Constantly. The Howard Stern Channels disappeared. Bad app overall 1/23/12
... * Kills 2GB of data in 2 days and sounds horrible with no leveling. Constantly turning up and down. Pandora can run a month at work almost every day and not touch 2GB. Compression people!!! Uninstall 1/23/12
Junk * Free trial doesn't work. Keep on saying it's unavailable. Galaxy 2 1/22/12
Shuts Off Constantly While Listening ** I use this app to listen to Opie & Anthony in the morning while I am getting ready for work. I have to keep the phone close however, even when in the bath, because it just stops all of the sudden and I have to dry my hands off, unlock my phone and then it starts running again. Sometimes if it stops you have to leave it for 3 or 4 minutes, it will start up the sound again on its own. But it is very unreliable. I have an 18 mbps connection to the net and everything else is blazing fast, so I can't possibly think it has anything to do with my connection. And this behavior happens on my Nexus S 4G, my ipad, and my iPhone. Sometimes it will even go into a loop and play the same 10-30 second clip over and over again until you shut the app down and restart it. 1/22/12
Bob * App stops working after around 5 minutes and then wont re-connect. Sirius could have done much better on the Android app. 1/22/12
What The Hell * All it does is repeat a 2 minute loop over and over on every station. I am paying for this? Even reinstalling didn't help. 1/22/12
I'm About To Give Up On This App ** I listen to Howard every day and it kills me when there is a good interview and then no Sound. I'll be sitting in the same place so it's not the connection. It's the app. PLEASE FIX. If this can't be fixed then i am just going to get a Sirius radio again. I would like to keep the app but come on, who wants to keep using something that doesn't work right? 1/22/12
WTF * I pay for service that started doing nothing but repeating my Howard Stern. Please fix 1/22/12
Such Junk ** It's too bad because the content is great but such a flaky application. I still use but only because I have to hear Stern on my commute. Cuts out, sometimes doesn't play at all...between 2 companies (or is it 1?) they should produce a decent product. 1/22/12
Awful * Unusable. Plays a minute or so, then stops, plays same selection over again when you restart. Deleting and cancelling sub. 1/22/12
Not a single positive comment for Sirius XM! By contrast Pandora (NYSE:P) has at least 10 times the amount of comments over the same two days and they are overwhelmingly positive. Slacker has mostly positive comments as well. What about iHeartRadio? Overwhelmingly positive! The bottom line is simple. According to consumers the Android app sucks.
I am certain that passionate Sirius XM fans and investors will not like this article, but something needs to be said. As a passionate fan of satellite radio myself, it is time that we as consumers and investors demand that this company deliver the top notch product we all expect and pay for. There is NO EXCUSE for missing the boat like this. NONE! If every competitor can deliver audio entertainment to consumers in a way that they like why can't Sirius XM? Why is it that one of the largest subscription business in the nation can't deliver a good app on the Android platform? Why is it that the company can report great profits in 2011 and promise even more in 2012 but decide to shortchange the consumer with an inferior app on the biggest smartphone platform? Why is it that the Android marketplace has to see negative comment after negative comment without the company doing anything meaningful to fix the problem? Why is it that Sirius XM rests the future on satellite radio 2.0 yet fails to deliver in the world of smartphone apps?
These are all questions that consumers and investors need to demand answers to. Sirius XM will be reporting their quarterly results in a matter of weeks. We all want to hear about great Q4 numbers, and a positive outlook for 2012, but it is IMPERATIVE that this company address the issue of the failed Android app. If we as consumers are being asked to pay more money for the service, and we as investors are being asked to have faith in Sirius XM, we need answers.
Smartphone use continues to grow at a mind numbing pace. The company gets a lot of subscribers from the automobile, but the added value of the service comes with the ability to stream your subscription content over a smartphone. It is time that we call Sirius Xm to the carpet on issues like this. We have lived with an inferior presence in the world of smartphones for far to long. While Pandora is adding active users at a pace of 1,000,000 per month, Sirius XM is adding them at a rate of 140.000.
Sirius XM needs to wake up. As a leader in audio entertainment it is time to take the reigns and be at the front of the pack. If this company wants to go to the next level it requires that they think about consumers. Upgrade the apps, improve the customer experience, and deliver the top notch content we want and deserve. In fact, do not stop with the app....Update the online player as well!