Throughout 2012 SiriusXM had hinted and promised that a personalized radio service would be launched at some point during the year. It seemed that each quarterly conference call whetted the appetite of consumers and investors for an Internet delivered product that would allow some level of customization on what we as listeners get to experience. As Q4 began to close in it was pretty clear that SiriusXM personalized radio would be a promise that was kept in the 11th hour much like the Lynx radio launched a year earlier.
Personalized Radio for SiriusXM would bring added capability to consumers and apply pressure to audio entertainment competitors like Pandora, Slacker, and Spotify. In many ways SiriusXM is already behind the curve on this aspect of the service. While it may not be a revenue driver out of the gate, it could be enough to keep consumers more loyal.
Well, here we are in 2103 and as yet there has been no announcement with regard to personalized radio. It appears that this is a promise that has not been kept. It is not the first time this has happened, and may not be the last. A couple of years ago SiriusXM touted a deal with Samsung to get its app installed on televisions and DVD players. That appears to have fallen by the wayside at this point. It could be that Samsung, which made great strides in the mobile phone market and has since created its own branded music app, simply did not see the need. It could also be that after further study SiriusXM decided it was not important enough.
All we really know is that it was touted, but never seemed to have come to fruition. Another unkept promise was services on Google Television. It has been said that SiriusXM is awaiting version 3.0 before being included, but the company touted that a release of an app on Google Television was due at the end of last summer.
From a business standpoint these delays and/or cancellations may make some sense, but what about the consumer side of the equation? With the audio entertainment landscape getting more competitive than ever, any advantage could be big. SiriusXM has been doing quite a bit, but these little things begin to take a toll at some point. Newer televisions and DVD players are more and more connected to other services than ever before. As yet SiriusXM has a minimal presence here, and these all link together.
Personalized radio is about smartphones, home connectivity, and customized playlists. Yes, it is a process to get all of the moving parts in line, but nonetheless it is worth doing in my opinion.
Perhaps we will learn more at this years Consumer Electronic Show, but SiriusXM has been pretty quite at these events in the past few years. If we get to February without an announcement it may be that personalized radio is in the proverbial back seat. Let’s just hope that it is not going the way the Samsung deal went.