SiriusXM just announced a plan to let people with Sirius receivers who are not currently subscribers, access all SiriusXM channels for two weeks. To start the promotional period SiriusXM will broadcast a live concert by Miami-based star Pitbull on May 19 at New York’s Apollo Theater. Access to the concert is FREE for anyone with a non-activated Sirius receiver.
Public radio folks should key an eye on SiriusXM. They offer many of the same best features of noncom radio: No or very few commercials, excellent audio fidelity, a wide variety of channel choices and a listener base that is familiar with paying for radio.
SiriusXM says it has around 27,000,000 current subscribers. Its “churn” [turnover of subscribers] is about 20% per year, an improvement from a 40% churn a few years ago. My guess is that there are 60,000,000 non-activated sets in distribution.
PUBLIC RADIO ON SiriusXM
Many of public radio’s gems will be offered free during the promotion:
• Channel 122 – BBC WORLD SERVICE
• Channel 122 – NPR ONE offers Fresh Air, Marketplace, A Prairie Home Companion, Best of Car Talk, Diane Rehm, On Point, Wait, Wait, Radiolab and Snap Judgment.
• Channel 123 – PRX PUBLIC RADIO REMIX
Note that Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and This American Life are NOT on SiriusXM. But, a lot of people do pledge for programming that SiriusXM also airs.
SiriusXM subscriptions cost between $15 - $20 per month. This is around the same amount of a typical pledge to a public radio station.
BEHIND THE SiriusXM PLAN
SiriusXM wants to gain new subscribers from terrestrial radio stations, particularly public radio listeners. Though listening to terrestrial stations is declining, it is still KING OF THE CAR with over 80% of total in-vehicle listening.
SiriusXM wants to get as many new subscribers from folks now listening to FM and AM. Meanwhile, SiriusXM is getting ready to seriously (pun again) compete for online and mobile listeners.