Good question... I thought that Arbritron was going to start rating the individual channels for both XM and Sirius.The Big Ear wrote:Is there a study anywhere of how many channels of SAT radio a user typically listens to? Or any actual ratings for SAT channels? That would be VERY interesting to read.
My guess is that the hit-based channels will always have more listeners than the niche and obscure channels.
On Sirius, the Howard channels probably has the most listenership overall. Hits 1, Big 80's, and The Pulse also has high listenership.
I'm the same way, although I'm probably more adventerous than average in checking out various channels, depending on my mood.The reason I haven't bought it (other than I'm cheap) is because I know I'd listen to about 3-5 stations with regularity and the other 100 stations would just sit, unused. That's a waste of cash so I don't need it.
Satellite's biggest advantage, though, is for people in rural areas and small markets who like music/talk programming that is simply not offered locally. Where are you going to find Alternative, Hip-Hop, or Smooth Jazz in WV, for example?
As much time as I spend in the car, it's well worth the subscription price to me... When wireless internet becomes prominent, that may change.
I think the merge will eventually happen, as satellite radio's situation is much different than Dish/Direct TV's a few years ago. It will form a much more formidible company as they will now be able to combine resources in technology and programming.I think the market it going to win out here and you'll see a smaller offering in the end from the combined company. They just can't sustain so many kinds of niche channels that nobody is listening to. Just like cable TV. We reached a peak at about 75 channels on the main tier before you pay even more... and most of us watch maybe 6 to 8 with any regularity.
Not much will change for a few years, except maybe programming being offered on both services (Stern on XM, MLB on Sirius, etc). Eventually though, many redundant channels will be eliminated.
The upside to this is that the freed up bandwidth can be used for more video offerings, such as Disney, Cartoon Network, and FOX News becoming mobile.