On the XM and Starbucks divorce

XM and Starbucks have parted ways.

From the news:

The companies launched a marketing pact in 2004 that allowed Starbucks to get its own channel on XM. Starbucks agreed to pipe that channel in to its stores. XM chief Hugh Panero said at the time that the deal would “greatly accelerate awareness of our popular satellite radio service.”

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, “awareness” is not the problem. Not for satellite radio. Not for HD.

Usage in context is the problem.

That, my friends, is why satellite radios built into cars are way more likely to lead to subscriptions than satellite radios locked in plastic on a hook at Best Buy.

If you get a radio without having to “decide” to get the radio – and it’s in a place where you’re accustomed to using radio – that’s usage in context.

And the same would be true of HD.

Somebody along the way needed to ask the question “Why will seeing our logo at Starbucks lead people to believe they should subscribe to satellite radio?”

It looks like somebody finally asked that question.

Let’s hope they ask that same question about TV advertising next.

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