The Underdog in Satellite Radio, Sirius, takes a bite out of their competition, XM Radio, with the new Sirius S50 player.
Sirius satellite radio has long been the underdog. Perhaps their name is a fitting match since the name Sirius comes from the “Dog star”. The Sirius star is the brightest star in the sky, and Sirius aptly seeks the same place in the Radio industry. Yet, with XM Radio having millions more customers how will they do it?
Yet now, Sirius Radio has gotten serious. They hired on a professional research team, to literally follow people around all day, and watch them for an opportunity to better implement Sirius into their lives. Somehow I think it is odd that they need to study humans, but maybe corporations are that out of touch. At any rate, the move proved extremely successful. Producing a product that seems like it must have followed you and watched you too. The Sirius S50 is the product Sirius has unleashed. This new player is the creative response to the MyFi, and has tech critics everywhere in awe. It’s essentially a handheld music player that, get this, will automatically load your favorite programming into memory whenever you load it into the docking station.
Simply amazing! Since it’s launch prior to the holiday season, Sirius says they have stolen the momentum from XM and are actually gaining more customers than the larger XM Radio. Unless XM comes up with a counter product and fast, they could be facing a bleak future against Sirius who has gained momentum from the product, critical praise of their music selections, and with big enough step in the right direction they could deal the deathblow to XM.
The S50 I assume stands for Sirius-50 with the 50 representing the claimed 50 hours of music, which depends on the compression rate of the files stored. Even at 40 hours, that means 40 hours of quality programming from your favorite stations. That is, until RIAA stepped in out of concern for “music piracy” and made only one downloadable musical song per recording. Talk radio is not affected quite the same way. However, you can download your own MP3’s onto the device, to fill the remaining time difference. Ironically, the one MP3 recording per recording, could still save you a $1 for each recording, assuming you would have boughten one of the songs on the recording. That pays for the Sirius radio monthly fees all by itself!
Even with the RIAA stepping in to try and stop it, the S50 is a pinnacle achievement, and will challenge XM to the core. XM will be hard pressed to develop a similar product, and are in danger of losing their advantage with one big push.
That’s where Sirius’ new bold marketing campaign steps in: “We know what you’re thinking”. A pretty bold and over-the-top statement, but it may be just what the doctor ordered. If they get enough customers curious to try look at the product, it will most likely ensnare them with it’s simplistic beauty. Being able to download unknown music to your device that you will probably like is amazing just to think about. Say you like 80’s rock, and come home from a day of work, plug in your Mp3 player, and it knows the two 80’s stations you like, loads that very 80’s music onto it, and you can go off and listen to your new high-quality song.
With products like these, Sirius has the upper hand. With famous radio personalities like Howard Stern and Martha Stewart, a music selection most critics prefer over XM, and now the Sirius S50 wearable satellite player, it looks like XM will have to run for its money.
Edit: transferred over, written years ago.