07/13

20 million satellite radio subs by 2010

This is one of the most interesting reports on satellite radio I’ve seen, because so much of its findings ring true to me.

Says Billboard Radio Monitor, citing the study:

Satellite radio will boast 19.5 million subscribers by 2010 with about 17% of all U.S. households tuning in to at least one of the two pay radio services, primarily because consumers like commercial-free music and the ability to listen to their favorite channels no matter where in the country they are.

Interesting note there on the “favorite channels no matter where in the country they are.” This is an advantage relative to terrestrial or HD radio.

And this…

Targetbase senior VP communication strategy Jordis Rosenquest said that “the numbers could easily be blown out of the water if you hit the right entertainment buttons.”

Rosenquest said satellite radio has moved from being considered a technology gadget to a full-blown entertainment device. “Your early adopters are already there,” she said. “Now you’re moving to the early majority who must be shown the value and quality of the programming content.”

“Hitting the right entertainment buttons” means possessing and promoting content that is unique and magnetic (hello Howard, hello Oprah).

You can also see the “respondents tell you what you want to hear” effect in this result:

Even subscribers might be in the dark about the differences between the services. For example, a larger percentage of Sirius users label Major League Baseball an attraction, though it is XM that is the exclusive sat radio home of MLB.

If it’s that much of an attraction, you surely know where it is, don’t you? If you’re a big fan of the The Office, you know how to find it.

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  • George

    My view is that more than half of the country pays for TV. Yet somehow, the local TV channels remain viable. And the highest rated cable channel gets 1/10th the audience of the lowest rated network show. The sky isn’t falling in TV.

  • http://www.mercradio.com Mark Ramsey

    George, local TV affiliates thrive purely because of their local information programming. And in that world, there are three to five competitors per market.
    In a world of 30 – or 300 – “local” radio stations specializing in various slices of the music pie I don’t see any analogy to local TV at all.
    Radio has, for a long time, been the inspiration for CABLE TV not LOCAL TV.

  • http://www.precipice.wordpress.com Jeff Schmidt

    “And the highest rated cable channel gets 1/10th the audience of the lowest rated network show”
    Where did this data come from?
    I’m curious.
    thanks!

  • http://www.mercradio.com Mark Ramsey

    Yeah, that does sound fishy, huh?
    But – we can certainly conclude that cable hits do not generally score where network hits do.

  • http://www.precipice.wordpress.com Jeff Schmidt

    true – but then again – they don’t score where THEY used to either.
    Everytime I hear people say “the sky isn’t falling” I hear – “status quo = good enough”.

  • George

    OK…slight exaggeration.
    The most-watched cable TV show is WWE wrestling on TNT. It gets about a 3 share. After wrestling, the shares drop down to 1′s.
    “Everytime I hear people say “the sky isn’t falling” I hear – “status quo = good enough”.”
    No one is suggesting status quo. And even if they were, there’s no such thing in this business. But I read a lot more “sky is falling” comments about radio than any other medium. And the consensus is that the biggest challenge for terrestrial is satellite. I assume that’s why Mark put this story here. And what I keep hearing from satellite backers is that consumers are willing to pay for TV, so they will be willing to pay for radio. If that’s the logic being presented, then why aren’t local TV stations as concerned as local radio stations about their competition?

  • http://www.mercradio.com Mark Ramsey

    Go back to my earlier reply and you’ll have your answer.

  • http://www.precipice.wordpress.com Jeff Schmidt

    “But I read a lot more “sky is falling” comments about radio than any other medium. And the consensus is that the biggest challenge for terrestrial is satellite. I assume that’s why Mark put this story here.”‘
    So you’re answering HERE issues & points you see raised elsewhere and assume Mark is following the same reasoning for his posts?
    Why assume why mark is posting something – just ask him?
    besides – you spend enough time here to know Mark’s point for a very long time now is that the real threat and opportunities to radio is INTERNET based.
    BTW – there most certainly IS a status quo in this business.

  • George

    A lot of people demand the status quo, and are angry when it’s taken away. Ask the listeners at KPIG or WCBS. They didn’t want change. They liked things the way they were.
    By the way, Mark, you should google the KPIG controversy. It’s great reading. Lot to be learned from what’s going on there.

  • http://podcastguild.org Paul Puri

    The KPIG controversy just reinforces Marks words. To save money, KPIGs owners fire 2 dj’s and automate night time programming in order to cut costs. No different than the rest of corporate owned radio. KPIG is one of last few stations that actually lets DJ’s play what they want, and play listener requests. When they made the change, they got a lot of complaints. The same thing happened when they said that they wanted to change the format. Listeners threatened boycott. I know these corps want to make money, but is it worth alienating the public? Why would advertisers want to buy time if nobody is listening? Where is the status quo now? No, KPIG is not an example of the status quo. It is an example of the people getting what they want. That is not the status quo for radio. They don’t see listeners as the customer, it is the advertiser. KPIG decided otherwise.

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