ARCHIVE: Satellite Radio

June 28, 2006

Sirius and XM Satellite Radio to Merge?

There's been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Sirius plans to buy out XM, which is discussed by Nicole Ridgway at SmartMoney.  One point raised is the possibility of offering a merged cell phone-based service that would compete with future entrants:

Dix suggests that the satellite-radio operators could expand their offerings to consumers by partnering with telecom providers and offering music via cellphones. It would help fend off recent entrants in the cellphone streaming market like Motorola's (MOT) yet-to-be-launched iRadio, a subscription-based service that offers commercial-free programming not unlike Sirius's offerings.

Interesting thought...  If such an offering takes place before iRadio can go live, Moto will be in for a much tougher battle than earlier thought.

May 17, 2006

Howard Stern Returns to Terrestrial Radio!

Howard Stern returns to FM RadioThat's right, Howard Stern is invading FM radio once again, though surprisingly, he's sticking mostly with Christian radio stations and non-commercial radio.

Well, ok, it's not just Stern.  And it's not even on purpose.  But apparently it's a recognized phenomenon where satellite radio is bleeding into lower frequency FM radio stations (between 88.1 and 89.9 FM).  This happens when a motorist's after market satellite radio receiver transmits satellite radio signals to a car stereo at a certain frequency.  If a car in the next lane happens to be listening to that same frequency...well, a Jars of Clay jam may be interrupted by Stern's voice yelling, "Show me your bre#sts!!"

NPR is currently in discussion with XM and Sirius to solve the problem...there are more complaints on this matter than you'd expect.  More on the phenomenon at Billboard Radio Monitor

The same problem can also be caused by Mp3 players using transmitters to send music to car stereos.  In effect, anyone one carrying an FM-enabled iPod is running a mobile, pirate radio station.

I love the idea of making cars around me listen to what _I_ want them to listen to.  Maybe Wesley Willis?  Or the Lord of the Rings Trilogy audio book set?  Broo-ha-ha-haaaa!!!

April 21, 2006

Clear Channel Struggling to Clean Up Its Image

Clear ChannelThere's a decent article in Business Week about how Clear Channel is trying to improve its image with niche channels such as Dank, Full Metal Racket, and Mother Trucker (Hip Hop and Rock, Heavy Metal, and Southern Rock).  It's all part of the move to HD radio, which allows individual stations to offer side-channels of focused genres.

It's going to be an uphill climb.  The hatred that spawned is tough to erase.  $200 HD radios are too expensive to warrant trials by non-music-geek listeners. Clear Channel's content was not compelling enough or sufficiently in demand to prevent XM Canada from dropping all four Clear Channel's channels in response to mandated commercial spots.

iRadio will only benefit from the programming battles, as content providers look for new distribution channels for their content.

February 10, 2006

Sirius to Hike Subscription Rates?

When you shell out crazy big bucks for 'talent' such as shock jock Howard Stern, it's gonna cost you...and your customers.  Sirius may raise rates to $14, which will help iRadio undercut the service with its $5-7 monthly price tag.  XM and Sirius continue to fight the name game war...

February 01, 2006

Radio World Interviews Dave Ulmer about iRadio

Radio World interviewed Dave Ulmer and produced an article summarizing many of iRadio's talking points here.  Comparisons made with terrestial radio, HD radio, satellite radio, etc.  A nice state-of-the-launch piece.

January 27, 2006

Motorola to Increase iRadio Channels from 438 to 638

Motorola iRadio blew satellite radio out of the water when it announced iRadio would launch with 438 channels of programming, compared to XM’s and Sirius’s 100 or so channels a piece.

I learned from a source close to the iRadio team that there are already plans to add another 200 channels by the end of 2006.  And that’s not including the channels that will be created by independent labels, artists, and DJs within the iRadio Get Heard Network.  Talk about a long tail…

I picked up a few other interesting little scoops…like the fact that a Windows Mobile version of iRadio now exists (that’s huge)…more next week.  Enjoy the weekend!

Update:  Did I say 438?  I meant "435" and "635."  Oops.  What's an extra 3 stations anyway?

December 23, 2005

Motorola iRadio Explains All on MySpace

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out iRadio's MySpace site, which gives more detail about the upcoming iRadio Get Heard Network not provided at the official site, such as:

iRadio channel minimum requirements: " / talk has to be at least 3 hours in length (to play in a continuous loop 24-7) and meet a level of quality (not in content, but in technical production)."
* a "hat tip" to the band Cancel for providing inspiration for the Get Heard Network
* a ripping apart of satellite, AM, and FM radio
* a "preferential treatment" offer to artists making iRadio one of their Top 8 MySpace Friends
* a mention that Europe will follow America as a target audience for iRadio

The excessive use of smiley's in the blog is balanced by the rockin, professionally-produced video footage of iRadio at the Music Player Live conference.  I.e. this site is a peak into Motorola iRadio's voice, vision, and sure to keep an eye on it.

December 01, 2005

Motorola iRadio Named Best Radio Service Over AOL, XM, and Yahoo

Motorola-iRadio-Named-Best-Radio-Service.jpgWow. A double-whammy for Motorola iRadio, coming in #1 at both the DEMXPO 2005 and GadgetFest 2005 today.

iRadio was named the Best Radio Service at the Digital Entertainment and Media Excellence Awards, beating nominees AOL Radio Network, Yahoo! Music’s LAUNCHcast Radio Service, and XM Satellite Radio. These are heavy hitters, with an interesting, distinguishing feature in common...they're actually available in stores! This is quite huge. It's late, so I'm going to leave it at that...for now.

Elsewhere, Motorola won the GadgetFest 2005 Best Cell Phone award. MOTO seems to be playing a lot of its cards right, now with a few more "accolades" under its belt to show off.

Congrats to the iRadio team!

UPDATE: Here's Motorola's press release about the award.

November 21, 2005

XM + Napster Beta Launched

XM and Napster recently launched the XM + Napster beta in the form of a 14-day free trial for current XM subscribers. According to the press release:

XM + Napster allows XM subscribers to listen to more than 70 XM music channels on the XM Radio Online service and access Napster's massive catalog for on-demand listening, purchasing, and downloading.

On a related note, XM Radio released Pocket XM Radio on Friday, which allows XM access on MS-based Smartphones. Screenshots available here.

Another player enters the music discovery + music purchasing solution market. Interesting stuff.

(via Orbitcast and MocoNews)

April 19, 2005

Comparing iRadio With iTunes and Satellite Radio

Mac Daily News prints a few iRadio comparison facts regarding satellite radio:

"The iRadio service, which will let customers download 10 hours of content at a time, will be available at the subscription cost of about $5 to $7 a month. When not driving, customers can listen to content on a phone with a headset," Cohen reports. "By comparison, Sirius and XM charge about $13 a month for access to more than 100 channels; online music content provider Napster gets about $15 in the same period for unlimited downloads to a computer, or digital music player. Apple's iTunes music library charges about 99 cents per song."
iRadio Waves tracks news, buzz, and gear related to Motorola iRadio and the world of mobile radio. (iRW is not affiliated with Motorola)

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