• Jun 9, 2010
There are currently 19 million Sirius XM subscribers out there, and the vast majority of those cash-paying customers listen only in the car. Ford was among the earliest mass-market adopters of Sirius, as The Blue Oval made infotainment a big part of its vehicle strategy. But while Ford was an early passenger on the satellite bandwagon, another very popular technology could put the squeeze on pay-for-play radio.

The Motley Fool opines that advances to Sync could hurt Sirius in a very meaningful way. Sync already connects to your MP3 player and your smart phone, but Microsoft and Ford have been working with third parties like Pandora to bring free content through the iPhone, RIM or Android data plan you're already paying for. Beyond Internet radio, Sync also provides turn-by-turn navigation, traffic and weather, emergency assistance and Google Maps.

In the end, though, The Fool is quick to remind us that Ford gets a cut from every Sirius XM subscription. That means the automaker likely will stop short of toppling over the satellite provider. Besides, Sirius subscriptions have done nothing but climb since Sync hit the market three years ago.

[Source: The Motley Fool]


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  • 47 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sirius/XM is already struggling hard. If you call to cancel your subscription, they'll offer you a deal for $77/year (the standard price is $13 per month!) immediately. I bet most of their subscribers are either on free trials or highly discounted plans.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The only reason I purchased a subscription was due to the discounted price.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh, and I decided that Sirius wasn't worth it when some stations started playing commercials. And they took away the Punk channel. And they jacked my monthly rate from $9/month to $13/month and took away free internet listening. In this economy, their service isn't even worth $77/year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Baba Booey!

      Seriously though, Stern is the lifeblood of Sirius XM. THAT is what will kill them off.

      However Spin Cycle's point is a valid one. If all carriers dump unlimited, which i'm sure they will, its back to square one.

      • 4 Years Ago
      You can get Sirius/xm streaming on your cellphone too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I liked the XM Classical channels before the merger which I listen to on the XM radios in my car and my office. But since the merger, Sirius took over the classical channels and the DJ's talk between the music which I hate. It's like listening to the local PBS affiliate.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice developments.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have XM (same thing) in all of my vehicles and love it in all of them. It's not very expensive for what you get and I prefer it's user-friendliness and vast choice in programming to Grooveshark and Pandora. I also stream it online on my computers including my HTPC.

      It's nice to set a radio station and forget it, especially nice that you don't have to listen to commericals for five minutes straight or lose reception when driving into the mountains just north of here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I use XM and lament the lack of choice. I like electronic music and there are only 3 electronic music channels and frankly they aren't very good. Pretty sad actually.

        I basically only have it because I want traffic data on my NAV and it's not cost-effective to get that without the radio stations too (I end up paying about $4 additional per month to get all the music stations).
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just wish I could find a channel that I like. I have Sirius for three months as I purchased a Golf TDI this Saturday. However it is far easier for me to load up six very filled MP3 CDs and link my iPod as necessary to have all the music I will ever need for any trip.

      I would prefer rock, but I hardly recognize most of the songs. I have yet to hear any Metallica or even older bands on any of the "rock" channels. Some of the channels seem relegated to noise from bands you never heard of.

      The 70s on 7, 80s on 8, and such aren't that bad, but still...
        moshe
        • 4 Years Ago
        if you wanna hear rock, listen to faction, octane, boneyard, alt nation, and lithium. i love my Sirius! also, the jason ellis show on faction is great. i actually prefer it over howard stern.
        • 4 Years Ago
        re: chris

        lithium, metal, octane, sirius xmu, faction, alt nation
        • 4 Years Ago
        My station rotation includes: hard rock (Octane), alt rock (Alt Nation), punk (Faction), and 90's (Lithium).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thank you for the suggestions, I will give the Sirius feature more of a work out then
        • 4 Years Ago
        One problem with sat radio is just finguring out which of the channels is playing something good. Too many options can actually be a problem.

        If Metalica is your thing, there is a channel that frequently goes all Metalica for what seems like days. I don't recall the channel number off hand though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It'll hurt Sirius. But Sirius has a market of people who travel all over the country, and may not have good access to streaming data on the road, at least for now.

      Besides, unlimited data plans are going the way of the dodo. You'll end up paying for your "free" streaming radio over data, the only question will be how much will you pay.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. AT&T is just the first to dump the all-you-can-eat plans; you can be sure the others will follow. The end of the unlimited data plans could make Sirius and XM more attractive again, from a cost standpoint.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Reality and a retirement of Stern will kill Sirius... but I don't think the King is going anywhere just yet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Stern?

        The King?

        Is this 1992 again?

        Fun question... did Hollywood Howie bother to do a show today, or is it another tape?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm with you Joe. Having a Zune Pass with Smart DJ is basically Pandora but it's available anywhere and any time, Internet connection or not. With the 10 free tracks it's essentially free to boot. If you love Pandora (or Last.fm) and want an "anywhere" solution today, a Zune Pass is the way to go.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @gruv
        I use a sansa mp3 player with Sync, and I have playlists, song titles, artists, track nav, etc. Ford/Microsoft made it so you can plug in almost any mp3 player via USB and have it work with Sync.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Simplecar: Because iPod integration means the ability to listen to playlists, navigate tracks, album art, ratings, etc. Just plugging a minijack into an Mp3 player is the same thing as having an auxilary input... it isn't integrated, it's just an audio jack. I'm sad that you don't like iPods, and instead prefer inferior music players. Just remember that you are the minority, and most people prefer the build quality, options, style, and cool factor of ipods to the crap you are using.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I dont see how this changes anything, iPhone and Android already have Pandora and other internet radio solutions, just use AUX.

        I cut the cables to my XM radio and spliced in an AUX cable as soon as I could (I cant believe the car came with satellite but no AUX). The sound quality of satellite radio was an absolute joke anyways, it was worse than a broken cassette player.

        I could care less about satellite radio, for about the same price I might as well just get a data plan for my phone and use the internet plus all sorts of other benefits that come with it like GPS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants Agreed. Also, the new Zune phone that's debuting later this year will have the Zune application fully integrated into it, and you'll be able to download songs directly from the Zune store into it's memory, plus use Smart DJ. I can't wait to trade my Blackberry in on one!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @montoym

        I think the quality you are talking about has gone down. In efforts to cut costs I think both Sirius and XM (before merger) cut back on data throughput, but I'm not sure. I seem to remember it being a lot better quality then it is now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @gruv and jay22

        Good choice, Jay22! I like Sansa too. I guess Gruv thinks your mp3 player is crap since its not an ipod.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can Sync my MP3 Player, Can run Pandora through my Android and I still get Sirius in my car because they filter out the sh&t and let me hear just what I want to hear, the new artists and stream CNN, Fox and NPR.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Stern coming or going isn't going to matter. Sat radio was DOA. People don't want to pay for what they can get for free. Sat radio has struggled to survive and the two competing companies were forced into merging to extend their life. The cost of a monthly subscription to it isn't worth it. It will die. It offers very little to get people to want it or want to keep it. I had my free 3 months and sure it was nice but I wouldn't pay for it. The money spent on it is better spent on CD's or mp3's of songs I want to listen to commercial free and on demand. Face it the iPod killed Sat radio before it ever had a chance. If it weren't for car manufacturers shoving them into cars and forcing you to try it they would already be done.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Gruv

        Since I don't want a giant screen in my dash, the iPod interface will not work for me. I would rather load up some mp3 CDs(more than enough music for any trip) and go on my way. Car cd players are cheap, plus most play mp3s from CD nowadays anyway. For the price of the ipod, i could buy a ton of blank discs. Plus, most of the time I would rather just put the windows down and ride in silence. I don't need to be constantly entertained in the car. The drive itself is mostly satisfying.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with v6sonoma.

        Why pay for an inferior product even if it gives you more choice? I've never been terribly impressed with the quality of satellite radio. Granted, my experiences have been somewhat limted, but I haven't found sat radio to even be on par with terrestrial radio as far as quality most times.

        With the advent of HD Radio and the options(and quality) it brings as well as mp3 players and the impending addition of Pandora and others to the fray, I just don't see Sirius XM having much of a future.

        It was a good idea at first, but technology has caught up and surpassed it essentially.



        • 4 Years Ago
        @v6sonoma

        I agree. However I don't like to give the iPod so much credit. MP3 players in general killed sat radio. As a matter of fact, I don't really care for the ipod. I would much rather a Creative Zen Stone or Muvo. I sick of the ipod being a selling point, too. Its like why not just say it supports mp3 players.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will Ford's Sync kill Sirius XM?...Lets Hope So....The "SIRIUS" the biggest RIP OFF in RADIO !!!!
      Vernon Chapman
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Fool needs to look at the Internet and see how unhappy many people are with SiriusXM sound quality. Ford would do well to cut ties with SiriusXM and go with something to replace it, whatever that might be, and offer a free update your auto so that you can use it. Either that or lay it on the line to SiriusXM that they need to get their act together. SiriusXM has the infrastructure but needs to spend some more money on bucking it up to produce that "CD" quality.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hopefully. Who pays for radio? Same with TV? Get a digital antennae. Watch shows online.Get movies from redbox or netflix. And the shows on the premium channels can be had with a little effort by way of a bit torrent.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed on the torrent stuff, but everything else is a legal and paid means to do so. With more variety and choice!

        I've had netflix online hooked up to my tele for 2 years now. I only pay for internet...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not everyone wants to illegally download media off of torrents.
        • 4 Years Ago
        However, a buddy of mine used to stay at an apartment building he shared the internet with the rest of the building. One person bought it and they all split the price. They would all just give the guy the money. They bought a high-powered long range router.it was like a buck for the internet. And he never had any problems with video or games it was all fast.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lots of people pay for radio - because it's CD quality with over 100 ad-free channels...how are you going to download THAT in your car? Most people just hook up an iPod, but sat radio is a great way to hear new music or talk radio on topics of interest, although I can put up with a few ads to hear local coverage.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Who pays for radio?"

        I do for one. It's being able to listen, uninterrupted, on those long trips I have to take every so often. It's being able to listen to what I want to without it being interrupted by local high school sports, which happens a lot here. It's the huge variety of channels that I can choose from.

        I've had a Sirius subscription for 6 years or so and I love it. I don't have an Ipod and don't want one and I also don't have an Iphone or Droid phone and don't want any of them either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        For the record, I pay for my own internet. Just saying.....Who would be so stupid not to secure their router?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @joe

        Thats why I don't do it. See above comment.

        In my buddy's case they, were all PAYING for one.
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