Future Of Satellite Radio

Satellite radio started its broadcasting in the United States in 2001. The two companies Sirius and XM have shown and steady increase in their subscription base since then, but it was not as much as they had expected it to be. The merger of these two giant companies in 2008 has brought about a mixed response and right now people are waiting to see new devices in the market that can receive both the services. Till date the old radios are not compatible with the other service and people are not able to hear both the services on their radios. The Sirius radio is able to receive signals from only Sirius satellites and so it is with XM. Although now there is the MiRGE SXMIR1 radio available, which is able to receive a package of all the Sirius and XM channels, people are still waiting to see newer models. 

The next question in everybody's mind is, will satellite radio be able to overtake the terrestrial FM radio stations? As of now there are still 200 million listeners for the terrestrial radio, which is nearly 50 times more than the satellite radio. With such figures what does the Future Of Satellite Radio hold? Well the main attraction in a satellite radio is its excellent programming content and commercial-free streaming of music. The question is will people still shell out $12 to $13 per month in these times of economic downturn and rising costs? Many experts feel that it will be very hard for the company to maintain a steady growth of subscribers in this troubled times. They feel that the company will have to keep improving its content and get better hosting as time goes by. If the company keeps to the FM style of broadcasting and does innovate, people will be soon disenchanted by the service and will not want to spend on a monthly subscription fee, just for avoiding commercials.  

As regards the music channels, people are able to record and carry music with them on their iPods, and also receive quite a good selection on the FM channels. The Future Of Satellite Radio will depend on how this media is able to redefine music broadcasting, and not just depend on the latest hits. Sirius XM Radio has finally put an iPhone application in the market and this looks very promising. Many experts feel this to be a smart move by the company, as this application has become immensely popular. There is no doubt that this will increase revenues for the company, as the current subscribers will upgrade and trial members will become subscribers. 

As far as opinions from Wall Street are concerned it is a mixed bag. Many investors panicked when the subscriber growth rate slowed down because of the downturn in the economy, and the prediction by the company itself of only adding two million subscribers in the next year. The stock fell to its lowest in five years at 98 cents. Many expert analysts fell that with the increase in technology of the streaming media, whether people will still choose to listen to satellite radio.