Sirius, XM, and HD: Consumer interest reality check

Through Google you can track web searches. But searches are a different matter from actual traffic.

Using the web traffic tracking service Alexaholic, one can track a partial representation of traffic to any number of websites.

Look what happens when I select Sirius and XM and the consumer site for HD Radio:


Note that traffic (defined as reach) to both Sirius and XM is generally down over the past year – with XM declining much faster than Sirius.

And note that the October spike for Sirius corresponds to the two-day free online trial for the Howard Stern show.

Finally, note the traffic for HDRadio.com which, although not a destination on the order of Sirius or XM, is the go-to site for further information about HD in many HD radio ads and promotions and is, thus, a good metric to gauge consumer interest.

To the degree that these estimates are correct (Alexa isn’t perfect) and to the degree that web traffic is a proxy for consumer interest, it looks like a long and slow race to the bottom.

While interest in satellite radio is diminishing, interest in HD shows no signs of a pulse.

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  • 700WLW

    Thanks for mentioning this tool – it is a great compliment to Google Trends. Here is an interesting on-going poll on Bimmerfest for HD Radio versus Sirius:

  • George

    You’re comparing apples and oranges. As you say, hdradio.com is hardly comparable to the XM or Sirius sites. HD Radio is local, delivered by local stations. Satellite is national. You will never really get a large national number from HD radio.
    You’re also comparing an established service (satellite) with one that’s in its infancy. Had there been a chart for FM in the 50s, it would have looked the same. Where would we be today if we’d given up on FM in the 50s?

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

    I do not have time for debate today, so I’ll make this short and sweet:
    You’re wrong, George.
    HD Radio may be local but the clearinghouse for HD Radio information, hdradio.com, is national. And interest in HD radio should correlate to traffic to the one site promoted as the answer to all your questions about HD Radio.
    So it’s not apples and oranges.
    As for your second point, I really wish folks would stop trying to compare the media landscape of 1955 with the one of 2007. There is NO comparison.
    To suppose that there are any media lessons to be taken from 1955 is like saying a new TV show would take off if it were more like “Leave it to Beaver.”

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