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How do you spell “Monopoly”?

Here are two questions for NAB head David Rehr to ponder:

1. How many of the folks who are against the proposed Sirius/XM merger actually subscribe to or plan to subscribe to Sirius or XM? You don’t count as a “consumer” unless you count as a potential consumer. Otherwise, XM and Sirius are expected to serve the interests of parties who are not interested in being served.

2. If, let’s say, Sirius vanished tomorrow, would all those former Sirius subscribers sign the dotted line for XM? Would most? Or would only some? Or, alternatively, would the Siriusly deprived spend that would-be Sirius time with traditional radio or with their iPod or listening to CD’s or doing something altogether different – but not subscribing to the satellite firm that remains standing?

What do you think?

I think this debate is a joke.

Anyone who knows anything about technology and trends (and isn’t being paid to say otherwise) knows that Sirius and XM are part of a much larger “audio entertainment and information” picture, they are not the sum total of the satellite radio pie because there is no satellite radio pie – just as there is no terrestrial radio pie (in fact, if there were, terrestrial wouldn’t view satellite as competition, now would we?)

I would be willing to bet that only a small fraction of listeners displaced by one theoretically vanished satellite radio service would sign up with the other. The majority would do what the rest of us do: Listen to terrestrial radio, tune in to their iPods, put a CD on the player…

…or just sit in silence and marvel at how it all came down to this.

Now what do you call a two company industry where if one company vanishes most of its consumers don’t sign up for the surviving company but instead get their needs satisfied in other ways?

You don’t call it a monopoly.

…in case the truth matters.

Radio can and will easily compete against satellite. This merger is no significant threat. The sooner we get our own house in order and move on with the challenges that matter, the better off our industry will be.

This merger thing is a massive distraction that will have little or no influence on radio’s future no matter which way the winds blow.

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