“Garrett Huffman of San Francisco loves the Sirius satellite radio that came with his Volkswagen Jetta so much that he would like to get another one for his waterskiiing boat,” Sarah McBride reports for The Wall Street Journal. “But the 31-year-old says he’s going to hold off until he can get the new Sirius iPhone application, which Sirius XM Radio Inc. has promised to launch in the next few weeks. Compared to buying and installing a Sirius satellite radio on the motorboat, ‘that would save me money,’ says Mr. Huffman, a shipping manager for Chevron Corp..”
“In releasing the new application, which will allow customers to stream satellite radio over their iPhones, Sirius XM appears to be tacitly conceding that the satellite-delivery system that once was cutting edge now has competition far beyond what its founders imagined. Sirius must prove it can hold its own in a world where cars have iPod jacks and phones can go online, allowing people to stream free music stations. And cars, where many people do most of their radio listening, are expected increasingly to have built-in Internet access,” McBride reports.
“That’s good news for consumers, who will have another way to listen to Sirius, which for a $12.95-a-month subscription offers 130 channels of music and talk programming… Currently, most Sirius listeners tune into specialized radios that get their programming from satellites. The radios can cost $200 to $300 for the most popular models,” McBride reports.
“For some consumers, satellite radio offers programming they aren’t able to find on the Internet, on over-the-airwaves radio, or elsewhere. Mr. Huffman of San Francisco, for instance, who bought his satellite-radio-equipped Jetta at the beginning of the year, says he has fallen for a politics-oriented station called Potus [P.O.T.U.S.], an inside-the-Beltway acronym for President of the United States. ‘I’m a confused conservative,’ he says, and the station gives him a ‘midline between right and left” that he couldn’t find on regular radio stations,’ McBride reports.
“The iPhone application likely will require purchasing a subscription, although Sirius XM has announced few details of how the plan will work. An estimated seven million people in the U.S. have iPhones, estimates Richard Klugman, an analyst at Majestic Research. Exposure for the Sirius service on the iTunes Store site of Apple Inc. could draw valuable attention from the gadget-loving crowd that flocks to the site,” McBride reports.
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