Sirius XM Radio Plays to iPhones, iPod Touch
Bleeding both customers and cash, the satcaster plans to reach out to owners of iPhones and iPod Touches to offer streaming music. Sirius XM hopes to give existing customers a new way to access their stations, but, more importantly, the move is designed to gin up new customers, which the company desperately needs. The problem is, though, iPhone and iPod Touch customers already have a number of free music choices. Why pay Sirius XM?
When all else fails, turn to Apple's wildly popular iPhone and iPod Touch.
Sirius XM Radio CEO Mel Kamarzin said March
12 the financially strapped satcaster will introduce a streaming application
for the iPhone and iPod Touch by next quarter.
Speaking at a teleconference to review Sirius XM Radio's dreary financial performance, Kamarzin said, "By streaming its music, sports and talk channels to users of the iPhone and iPod Touch, Sirius can give its existing subscribers another way to access content and let new customers sign up without buying new radios."
Kamarzin did not discuss the cost of the service for iPhones and iPod Touches, but the company's current monthly charges range from $7 for an a la carte choice of stations to $20 for all channels from both Sirius and XM. If Sirius XM maintains those rates, it may find customers from the iTunes store hard to find, since a number of free music services, such as Pandora, are already available.
Sirius XM reported a fourth-quarter loss of $248.5 million. Even more problematic, the company reported a 94 percent year-over-year slowdown in subscriber growth in the most recent quarter, adding only 82,945 net new customers. A year ago, Sirius added 1.1 million net new subscribers in the fourth quarter.
Last month, Sirius XM, facing a debt load it couldn't handle, was forced to take a high interest loan from Liberty Media in exchange for 40 percent of the company's equity.