Joe G

Sirius Radio

81 posts in this topic

The iPod's even better now that I figured out how to download David's Night Lights program. :cool:

:rfr:D I'm flattered! I wish we could put it up as a regular podcast... I have another idea for a jazz podcast (monthly) that might legally work.

I'd like to give both Sirius & XM's jazz programming a listen... will probably do the free 3-day trial option at some point. After reading Cannonball-A's post, I'm a little disheartened about what it sounds like XM's doing with jazz. I certainly understand not being able to cater to the Cecil audience... but damn, more House of Wynton?!

Edited by ghost of miles

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Any news on how Stern was this morning? I actually woke up at 6 to listen to it, only to find out talk stations, such as Howard, arent available with online listening, even for subscribers.

Bummer.

I heard he was quite daring, there was a lot of talk about sex and bodily functions. I haven't verified this yet, but I think he might have also said "fucking." Sheer genius!

Did he talk about penises and vaginas too, only using extremely crude slang? That would be over the top.

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Stern has his fans, and that won't change. However, I wonder if this situation will take some of the fun out of it for them.

I think part of his appeal was saying what you couldn't say on radio - that constant testing of the line of what is permissible.

Now on satellite radio everything is permissible. It won't be long before the shock value goes away, and Stern is left with the requirement to be funny.

I remember first seeing the Lifetime cable TV channel in a motel room, about 1982. I saw a soap opera with above the waste nudity, and dialogue which included lines like "Aww, bullshit!" and "Jesus Christ!". As you can imagine, these contributed nothing to the show, which was pretty stupid anyway; they were just doing it because they could. As far as I know, you don't see such stupid things on cable today, because the audience doesn't value vulgarity for its own sake.

I have seen Howard Stern on the David Letterman show, and thought that he was a funny guy when he wasn't being gross. So I can imagine that he will succeed in his new gig. But after the initial 2006 purchases of Sirius by his fans, which I expect to be plenty, I don't see people willing to pay to listen to some guy just because his language is uncensored.

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FWIW

i heard howard say he didn't want his show to be filled with "F" bombs...

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I'd like to give both Sirius & XM's jazz programming a listen... will probably do the free 3-day trial option at some point. After reading Cannonball-A's post, I'm a little disheartened about what it sounds like XM's doing with jazz

I jotted down the XM playlist this morning while helping to get my daughter ready for school. Cootie Williams, Clifford Brown, Coltrane (early 60s I think), Turrentine, Joe Williams, Mingus big band (current one), Eric Mintel, S. Grappelli, Marcus Roberts, Frank Foster, Orbert Davis. I think thats a pretty representative set.

Too conservative? Probably, I guess it depends on your personal midpoint. But note the lack of vocalists (only one), and plenty of good stuff.

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This morning's USA Today had an article which said that a third company, I think it was called Ondas, plans to have its satellite radio system with 150 channels going in 2009.

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I signed up with Sirius on Friday, just in time for the Canadian Football League season. I listen to it at home on a boombox.

I have been listening mostly to Ch. 72 Pure Jazz, and I've enjoyed it. I have heard a few things which I own, but mostly players both old and new that I should know more about and listen to more often.

I suppose those of you in New York and other areas with good jazz radio are accustomed to hearing a wide variety of musicians, but my listening over the years has been limited to what I own, and this has been educational for me.

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I signed up with Sirius on Friday, just in time for the Canadian Football League season. I listen to it at home on a boombox.

I have been listening mostly to Ch. 72 Pure Jazz, and I've enjoyed it. I have heard a few things which I own, but mostly players both old and new that I should know more about and listen to more often.

I suppose those of you in New York and other areas with good jazz radio are accustomed to hearing a wide variety of musicians, but my listening over the years has been limited to what I own, and this has been educational for me.

I listened to that station on a daylong car drive recently and found it to be a pretty decent station. It is far better than any station available in Dallas.

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Ondas means "waves" in Spanish.

Was talking to someone the other day, a radio head, who says the gamble didn't work because Stern's FM listenership, which numbered in the millions, did not follow him over to satellite radio...the percentage that followed him is shockingly low...cha-ching, bye to the bling...

I've notice, too, XM has a variety of jazz formats, one of which is supposed to push it some, but what I've heard is mostly "freebop" or music that ducks between inside and outside, no outright aesthetically driven experimentation or embrace of the grand tradition of black experimentalism in American music since 1923.

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I was at a small dinner party last night, and they were playing Sirius' Pure Jazz 72. Pretty much classic stuff--Bill Evans, Miles, Monk, Brubeck, etc.--and it sounded very good, esp. as I heard it more in the context of folks who don't know the history of jazz inside & out (unlike us wizards here, eh? :D ). I'd still be more tempted to go with XM, if I did go satellite, but that would have less to do with the jazz & more with the fact that XM offers major league baseball :excited: . For now, I'm more than content listening to Lazaro, WGBH, and a couple of other Internet sources to feel the need to turn to satellite for jazz.

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Ondas means "waves" in Spanish.

Was talking to someone the other day, a radio head, who says the gamble didn't work because Stern's FM listenership, which numbered in the millions, did not follow him over to satellite radio...the percentage that followed him is shockingly low...cha-ching, bye to the bling...

I've notice, too, XM has a variety of jazz formats, one of which is supposed to push it some, but what I've heard is mostly "freebop" or music that ducks between inside and outside, no outright aesthetically driven experimentation or embrace of the grand tradition of black experimentalism in American music since 1923.

Your "radio head" friend doesn't know what he's talking about.

All Hail King Stern

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMFBreakerRick)

July 7, 2006

Is the self-appointed "King of All Media" also the king of all markets? Terrestrial-radio deserter and wickedly popular morning-show radio host Howard Stern helped Sirius (Nasdaq: SIRI) close the subscriber gap with market-leader XM (Nasdaq: XMSR) for the third quarter in a row. In the second quarter, which ended last week, Sirius claims that it landed 600,460 new subscribers, while XM generated just 398,000 net additions.

XM can't sugarcoat the disparity. It's true that XM still commands the larger audience. The company closed out the quarter with 6.9 million subscribers, while Sirius totalled 4.7 million. Even if XM's subscriber count remains stagnant over the next few periods -- highly unlikely, of course -- Sirius wouldn't catch up until the first half of 2007.

The problem is that this is a momentum game, and at the moment, Sirius is the one behind the wheel. It was able to land 64% more net new subscribers during the period than it did a year earlier. Over at XM, the company suffered a 38% slide in net new additions, after claiming 640,000 new sets of ears in the June quarter of 2005.

XM is still growing -- reporting net new additions, not subtractions. That doesn't take away from the one thing that's now becoming painfully -- or gloriously -- obvious: Howard Stern is bigger than even he thinks he is.

Hugh blew it

When Sirius agreed to a five-year deal with Stern, a stock-and-cash pact valued at $500 million at the time, XM CEO Hugh Panero was critical of the amounts being bandied about for the sometimes-controversial host. David Gardner interviewed Panero last year, and this is what he had to say:

I don't know if it is a good move for Sirius. It is clearly a very good move for Howard Stern. He is a smart guy, and he has obviously done a deal that is very good for him. I think that there will be a number of his hardcore fans who will subscribe to listen to him in that environment.

Whether it is a good business deal, I think time is going to tell. It is a lot, a lot of money. I had also spoken to Howard and some of his people, and there was some interest in us doing some sort of a deal with him, but I never, ever contemplated a deal of that magnitude. That is more money than people like Oprah Winfrey make. That is more money than some of the biggest stars that exist. It is quite a gamble, but it was clearly a very good business deal for Howard Stern.

In retrospect, Panero was wrong. Since the day the deal was announced, shares of Sirius are only trading marginally higher; that still tops XM, which has seen its shares nearly halved in the same period. It's interesting to note how Panero singled out Oprah, a broadcasting celebrity with whom XM eventually teamed up to create a new XM channel debuting this fall.

Along the way, we've had downward subscriber revisions, troublesome product rollouts, and a defecting Chicken Little board member. Investors keep waiting for the other shoe to drop at XM, only to realize that XM is really Imelda Marcos in disguise. Boy, Stern would have been really convenient about now. Would we even still be in a duopoly if Sirius had let Stern slip through its fingers and into XM's hands?

We can argue about Stern's merits until we're blue in the face -- and I don't mean the FCC's definition of "blue" here. Whether you think he's brilliant or a potty-mouth, the numbers don't lie. Consumers have been choosing Sirius over XM since Stern made his media blitz over the 2005 holiday season.

Stern is the not-so-secret ingredient behind Sirius' killer recipe. I subscribe to both XM and Sirius. I love both. XM has more channels, with a lot of content overlap. You'll get a wide range of opinion on who has the best music channels, but both services are excellent substitutes to old-school radio. One can argue that XM's deal with Major League Baseball and Sirius' pact with the National Football League make each offering distinctive, but that's also what makes Sirius clobbering XM here so Stern-driven. We're waist-deep into the baseball season and a couple of months away from the start of the NFL games. All things being equal, XM should have smoked Sirius this quarter.

Eighteen months ago, I made a pretty ridiculous prediction. XM was trouncing Sirius, yet I proclaimed that Sirius would land more net new subscribers by the fourth quarter of 2005. It seemed outlandish at the time, but I was spot-on accurate. I'm off to hock my crystal ball, though. A year later, I predicted that XM would regain the new-listener lead in the second and third quarters. Not even close.

Another shoe tumbles

This doesn't end here, of course. Anyone with a calculator and a penchant for train wrecks can see that XM may let us down one more time. Back in May, XM announced that it intended to close out the year with 8.5 million subscribers. It had originally planned to end 2006 by lapping the nine-million mark.

On the other hand, Sirius expects to wrap up the year with 6.2 million subs. In other words, over the next six months, XM expects to land 1.6 million more net new users, with Sirius projecting just 1.5 million net new subscribers.

How? If the baseball-charged second quarter didn't do it, how will XM outmuscle Sirius when the playing fields of choice go from diamonds to gridirons? XM will have "its Oprah moment" in a few months, but that's a wildcard, since Oprah's emphasis will remain with her syndicated television show.

What would it take for XM to avoid another heartbreak? Will next month's earnings report bring that 8.5 million year-end target to a round 8 million, or will announcement come in early October instead?

Things don't have to be that bleak. As logic goes, the more time that Stern spends entrenched in satellite radio and away from the mainstream spotlight, the less of a factor he becomes in moving new receivers. True Stern fans would have made the migration already. But the strong second quarter, months after Stern's first show for Sirius, throws that theory into the wood-chipper.

Maybe the thinking is that XM stars Opie & Anthony, pioneers in taking their controversial morning show to satellite radio, will be successful ambassadors. XM began syndicating part of the show to Stern's former haunt at CBS (NYSE: CBS). If lightning can be caught in a bottled-up radio show twice, XM may be on to something. But the early XM migration numbers don't seem to have panned out that way.

I still believe in XM. I even recommended the stock to Rule Breakers subscribers last year. I'm realistic, though. A year ago, I was wondering why XM had a lower market cap than Sirius. Now I understand. Still, XM's attractive valuation, and the upside potential of the niche, keep me glued to the possibilities.

Stop dropping shoes, XM. And if you've got platform shoes in there, try them on. We can all use the lift.

Rick recommended XM to Rule Breakers subscribers last year. The stock is currently in the red, though the average newsletter service pick is currently beating the market. See David Gardner's full list of growth-focused picks with a free 30-day guest pass.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a Sirius and XM subscriber, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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For now, I'm more than content listening to Lazaro, WGBH, and a couple of other Internet sources to feel the need to turn to satellite for jazz.

Ever since I finally picked a 12 foot cable with a mini-headphone jack on one end and RCAs on the other for 6 bucks and plugged my laptop into the stereo's unused tape jack, I find myself listening to internet radio much more frequently. It's very cool to hear you and other internet broadcasts thru the stereo as nature intended. :) Should have done this a long time ago, and I highly recommend it to other folks with laptops.

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kh -- from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6060900349.html . Less than 10 percent of his audience made the switch so far. Quote:

But radio executives are having a tough time figuring out where Stern's national audience of about 12 million daily listeners has gone since the self-appointed King of All Media switched to the profanity-friendly playing field of satellite radio. No doubt, Stern has been a powerful boon to Sirius, which had been lagging far behind Washington-based XM Satellite Radio in the race for subscribers. Since Stern's arrival, his $600 million deal has looked like a winner for Sirius, which has added more subscribers this year than XM has -- narrowing the gap between the companies to 6.5 million listeners for XM and 4 million for Sirius.

But even if surveys are correct in attributing more than one-fourth of those new Sirius subscribers to Stern's presence, one in every six Stern listeners, at best, has decided to cough up $13 a month to listen to radio. Where did the rest go?

In the nightmares of radio executives -- who, like TV, newspaper and magazine bosses, have watched as the splintering of the media landscape diminishes their once-dominant places in Americans' daily lives -- those Stern listeners might vanish into millions of individual choices to program their own morning music on their iPods or spend their time on the Internet.

But in Washington, as in much of the nation, the ratings numbers don't support that conclusion. The number of Washingtonians listening to the radio in the morning dropped hardly at all in the first few months after Stern's departure, according to Arbitron ratings.

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I thought you would be interested to see all of the broadcasts of the Super Bowl that Sirius will be carrying Sunday. I received this email from them the other day:

When the pre-game hype and hoopla is over and it's time to play football — SIRIUS delivers! Choose from 12 live broadcasts in eight languages on Sunday, February 3. Check back for exact broadcast times.

Broadcast

New England Patriots announcers Ch. 126

New York Giants announcers Ch. 123

National (Westwood One Radio) Ch. 124

BBC Radio Ch. 125

Spanish-Latin America (Westwood One) Ch. 181

Spanish-Spain (CANAL+ Spain) Ch. 110

French (France 2) Ch. 143

Japanese (NHK Japan) Ch. 140

German (ARD) Ch. 130

Flemish (Telenet) Ch. 119

Russian (NTV Plus broadcast) Ch. 122

Mandarin Chinese (SMG) Ch. 121

Maybe one of you Europeans can explain why there is a Flemish broadcast!

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Because Flemish is one of the two main languages (along with French) in Belgium?

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I thought they spoke Flem and Belch. :rolleyes:

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Are these satellite radio stations not the culprits (along with Bush's FCC) who are putting small local stations out of business?

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Are these satellite radio stations not the culprits (along with Bush's FCC) who are putting small local stations out of business?

Hmmm... It certainly may be a factor, but not everybody is ready to spring the bucks for a satellite receiver and program subscription. What little I've heard of satellite radio is primarily a jukebox format with no personality (or personalities).

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Are these satellite radio stations not the culprits (along with Bush's FCC) who are putting small local stations out of business?

Chris, I bet that you are spoiled in New York with the selection of radio stations you have there. Here in Raleigh there is not one radio station worth listening to. If any go out of business, they deserve to.

For what it is worth, my experience has been this: I have too many trees nearby my home, so I cannot listen to Sirius at home, only in the car. In the car, I listen to stations which are not available on local radio: Canadian Football League, EWTN, the audio of CNN and Fox News Channel, old-time radio dramas and the one jazz channel called Pure Jazz.

Before I got Sirius, I never listened to local radio in the car - only CDs and (sometimes) distant AM stations late at night.

By the way, here we have two sports channels on the AM dial, one of which will undoubtedly carry the Super Bowl. Both turn their wattage down at sunset, and I can't pick them up after dark. The Super Bowl will have a 6:00 pm kickoff.

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My mistake, I was thinking more of the corporations who (with FCC approval) purchase the small stations and remove whatever local character they had. Corporations that program the music from NY or LA. Local stations were like local newspapers, they were concerned with issues and people that never got a mention on network radio. Many minority-owned stations served their community well and filled the gaps created by the big guys--well, they are dropping like flies, bought out by corporations that have but one aim: to make money. Years ago, when broadcasting was my profession, the FCC rules were such that there was a limit to have many media outlets any one entity could own in a market. It was a sensible ruling that kept stations and newspapers in private hands and thus served the local community. The Bush FCC (these people are appointed, not elected) makes rulings that benefit the big corporations and totally ignore the fact that the airwaves belong to the people, that stations are given license to use it and that a good portion of that use is expected to be in the public interest. The current FCC commission is a shill for the White House, only 2 of its 5 members are not Republicans appointed to carry out the party's wishes. It's really a shame. Satellite radio is a whole different thing and I apologize for making the mistake.

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I have XM mainly for the MLB package since my favorite sport is baseball. I really enjoy it since I live in the "country" and can't pick up many radio stations- certainly not the Richmond sports stations- but I can get WFAN and WCBS out of NY on my Zenith Black Dial tombstone c. 1938.

But I wish I had Sirius for the NFL, the Springsteen channel and the Grateful Dead channel.

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I have XM mainly for the MLB package since my favorite sport is baseball. I really enjoy it since I live in the "country" and can't pick up many radio stations- certainly not the Richmond sports stations- but I can get WFAN and WCBS out of NY on my Zenith Black Dial tombstone c. 1938.

But I wish I had Sirius for the NFL, the Springsteen channel and the Grateful Dead channel.

i have taken the mlb computer package directly from mlb for perhaps 10 years for about $14/yr. i consider it one of the great values in sports.

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I have XM mainly for the MLB package since my favorite sport is baseball. I really enjoy it since I live in the "country" and can't pick up many radio stations- certainly not the Richmond sports stations- but I can get WFAN and WCBS out of NY on my Zenith Black Dial tombstone c. 1938.

But I wish I had Sirius for the NFL, the Springsteen channel and the Grateful Dead channel.

i have taken the mlb computer package directly from mlb for perhaps 10 years for about $14/yr. i consider it one of the great values in sports.

I agree! I did that a few years ago- but XM now allows me to take it anywhere- I drive alot for my job- makes it very enjoyable.

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My mistake, I was thinking more of the corporations who (with FCC approval) purchase the small stations and remove whatever local character they had. Corporations that program the music from NY or LA. Local stations were like local newspapers, they were concerned with issues and people that never got a mention on network radio. Many minority-owned stations served their community well and filled the gaps created by the big guys--well, they are dropping like flies, bought out by corporations that have but one aim: to make money. Years ago, when broadcasting was my profession, the FCC rules were such that there was a limit to have many media outlets any one entity could own in a market. It was a sensible ruling that kept stations and newspapers in private hands and thus served the local community. The Bush FCC (these people are appointed, not elected) makes rulings that benefit the big corporations and totally ignore the fact that the airwaves belong to the people, that stations are given license to use it and that a good portion of that use is expected to be in the public interest. The current FCC commission is a shill for the White House, only 2 of its 5 members are not Republicans appointed to carry out the party's wishes. It's really a shame. Satellite radio is a whole different thing and I apologize for making the mistake.

No apologies necessary. There is a grain of truth in what you originally said. Satellite may very well be one of many factors involved in the fact that locally-focused, community-oriented stations are currently an endangered species. You're spot-on though regarding the current regime's FCC. Here in Seattle there were some pretty good-sized demonstrations and a SRO turnout for the open forum on the new FCC rulings, with a sizeable percentage of public opinion strongly opposed to relaxing cross-ownership rules. It was all for naught. It's obvious that they'd already made the decision and that the public forums were charades.

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Are these satellite radio stations not the culprits (along with Bush's FCC) who are putting small local stations out of business?

Hmmm... It certainly may be a factor, but not everybody is ready to spring the bucks for a satellite receiver and program subscription. What little I've heard of satellite radio is primarily a jukebox format with no personality (or personalities).

I think you've been mis-informed.

Satellite radio offers every kind of programming you can imagine talk, music, and otherwise and has plenty of personality (or personalities). Who is on Sirius satellite?

http://www.sirius.com/ourstars

I can live without hearing where the local "morning zoo" is handing out bumper stickers.

Edited by catesta

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