Is Sirius growing subscribers…to XM?

This is really surprising to me.

Hyundai surveyed hundreds of customers to determine whether they should offer Sirius or XM in their vehicles.

Evidently a surprising number of customers chose XM over Sirius strictly because XM doesn’t have Howard Stern.

What’s surprising about this is that you might think Howard would draw in his fans and otherwise be of neutral impact, given that zillions of Sirius channels are available without him. But, in fact, Howard’s profile is so high and his publicity machine so effective he has become the new face of Sirius. He has, in a sense, become emblematic of the Satellite service and a substitute for the Sirius brand.

What’s so dangerous about that is that it means Howard has the potential to carry both his positive and negative baggage to Sirius – and the fallout could extend to advertising difficulties and subscriber decision-making for years to come.

I doubt this is what the Sirius decision-makers expected: An edge for XM because of what they don’t offer.

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