Into orbit

Into orbit

: MediaWeek reports on a survey of Stern fans to find out how many are planning to make the switch. 22 percent said they are definitely getting Sirius; 41 percent were still deciding. If those numbers play out, the deal works well for Sirius and Stern. It was reported that Stern had to bring in 1 million subs to make the deal work. He has an audience reported at anywhere from 8 to 18 million; that’s 1.7 to 4 million subs just for the 22 percent who are decided; add in some proportion of those who still thinking; add in Nascar fans, now that Sirius got that deal… and I’m glad I bought Sirius stock (with absolutely no insider knowledge!). I’ll write a post soon on my reaction to having Sirius and my wish list for it. (Hat tip: Peter Weinberger)

: OOPS: I read an email on this and linked from there. Jimmy Robinson in the comments is my editor and catches me in a bad omission: The story goes further to say that a sizable hunk were not aware of the size of the fee (which is too much, I’d say) and that reduced the number considerably so, given the audience/fan numbers above, the net ends up either below or above 1 million. So they’ll still have a lot of selling to do. Thanks, Jimmy. But I’m still not selling the stock.

  • Ebb Tide

    NASCAR… on radio ???? WHAT????
    Oh brother.

  • No One You Know

    I made the big mistake of reading a paper on how men develop an abusive mentality and then catching 10 minutes of Stern’s show, which essentially showed exactly what the paper was talking about in terms of the dehumanization of women in the media and how that plays into psycholocial abuse and violence. Stern does not belong on a radio progam that young boys, or even girls, can flip on and hear any time, anywhere. It’s too toxic, especially to those developing attitudes about their own sexuality and the importance of respecting people of both genders as individuals with feelings and emotional needs, not as mere playthings to be put down or tossed away when they aren’t entertaining to you any more or catering exlusively to your wants. Stern made the right decision to go private, and we can only hope that parents do not allow young people to have access to it anyway. Anyway, I went to bed depressed, and the statistics about the size of Stern’s audience depress me even more.

  • von

    I have XM now, and I love it. They have some other crappy, supposed to be funny Stern type show, but you have to pay extra per month if you want to listen to it. I’m curious as to whether that’s what you are going to have to do with Stern and Sirius. Most of the people that I’ve talked to said that they wouldn’t be interested if they had to pay extra for the Stern show. Surely Stern could get at least 1 million subscriptions though…

  • steve

    “I made the big mistake of reading a paper on how men develop an abusive mentality and then catching 10 minutes of Stern’s show”
    Did you catch 10 minutes of anything else?

  • eddy

    “NASCAR… on radio ???? WHAT????
    Oh brother.”

    I was wondering the same thing. NASCAR is boring enough when it’s visual…when it’s audio, I can’t imagine any entertainment quality whatsoever.

  • Stern will be included in the regular subscription price for Sirius. Sirius is following this model for most (all?) of its original/”premium” content. XM charges for Opie & Anthony.
    I’ve had both and personally prefer Sirius. (Disclosure: I also own Sirius stock, but bought it long before the Stern deal.) I got rid of XM because they played too many commercials. That’s changed now, but only because Sirius forced the issue on them. I suspect the same will happen with premium programming. I am contemplating a return to XM (while keeping Sirius) because the redeeming feature of XM is baseball. I really want that.
    Jeff: As for my Sirius wish list, #1 is to get rid of most of the stupid DJs. If I want inane commentary from a DJ, I’ll listen to regular radio. I enjoy the combo of Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, and Alan Hunter on the 80s station, but that’s because they fit the nostalgia and enjoyment of those songs. Hearing some doofus babble on about “interesting” news items and personal gripes isn’t interesting. (That’s why man created blogs.)
    I look forward to reading your wish list.

  • Blake

    Music without DJs. That’s why man created ipods.

  • flaime

    You bought stock in something that supports NASCAR? Shame on you…
    Support Podcast Inc instead.

  • Blake: Valid point, but I like satellite specifically because I can hear new music. I don’t bother with MTV and what the cool kids are listening to; I just want to hear interesting music, both new and old. Satellite also lets me explore other genres that I don’t have experience with or exposure to.
    Of course, as you point out about iPods, that’s a big reason why people are fleeing radio. That makes original content the key driver for satellite radio. There is probably enough room in the market for both players, although the costs could remain prohibitive long-term. Either way, music alone won’t be enough.
    Even though I have an mp3 player, exposure to new (or new to me) music and the addition of original content makes satellite worth it to me.

  • von

    Tony: I agree. Having a station completely dedicated to playing unsigned bands is worth the subscription to XM for me.

  • Jimmy Robinson

    Uh, I think you missed something:
    “When told that they would have to pay for hardware and a monthly subscription fee, only 7 percent said they would subscribe to Sirius…”
    That’s 560,000 to 1,260,000 possible new subscriptions among those who are decided. It’s not 1997 anymore (his career peak with the movie and new markets) and Stern is no longer #1 in the ratings everywhere, so the lower end of the audience size estimate is probably more accurate. If they were told the rumor that Stern will only be live Monday to Thursday, with best of on Fridays @ Sirius, I’ll bet the 7 percent would shrink even more.

  • The great thing about satellite radio (and any other broadcast) instead of loading an iPod is that sometimes its nice to just be lazy about your entertainment. I don’t always want to be so proactive about things, sometimes its better to just go along for the ride and find answers to questions that you didn’t know you had. The two can coexist quite nicely, even with the same consumer.

  • Ed Roman

    the news is not that good for Sirius. You’ve been around long enough, Jeff, to know the rule of thumb is that only half of people who say they will buy something in a survey like this actually do; good market researchers takes this variance into account.
    I know you’re a Stern guy and all, but the business guy in you must be a little more hesitant.
    BTW, Nascar fans didn’t push a lot of business toward XM; racing is not something you sit and listen to on the radio. The NASCAR network has been broadcast for years on AM sports radio on the nation and done poorly.