I recently purchased a brand-new minivan with all of the bells and whistles of the 21st century such as side airbags, backup camera, Bluetooth technology (Bluetooth) and a free, 3-month trial to Sirius XM (SiriusXM) radio.
As I traveled with my family to various places around the city of Houston with some long trips to nearby Galveston Island, I began to tinker with the available entertainment devices available on the vehicle, namely, the Bluetooth and the satellite radio. I configured my iPhone (Apple iPhone) to connect to the car speaker via Bluetooth and downloaded/installed the internet radio apps and some other music apps such as Pandora. Lo and behold, after doing this, listening to the radio was now on a different, higher level of entertainment. You could listen to many songs and radio stations throughout the country. Needless to say, you can also listen to radio stations from different parts of the world.
As for the satellite radio, I also gave it a try since it was free and listened for a few minutes; however, it is not the same as the internet radio. The satellite feed can be interfered with if you’re under a bridge or in a basement parking lot and once this happens; there goes your listening pleasure.
As the days, weeks and months passed by, I took note of the fact that I only listened to the satellite radio for a maximum of less than 1 hour and I listened more on my internet radio. For me, it was a revelation that I really don’t need my AM/FM radio device and I REALLY do not have a use for the satellite radio. All I need is my internet radio piping the sound to the car speakers via Bluetooth.
Armed with this knowledge, I let the 3-month trial expire without even considering of subscribing to it.
After a few days, I got a call from a Sirius XM sales representative trying to convince me to subscribe to it. She was offering me discounts that are tempting to most customers; however, I know better since paying zero dollars is better compared to paying any other amount, right? Anyway, I humbly declined the offers and she refused to let go and asked me “why?” I told her that “I don’t have a use for it and I am happy with my AM/FM radio stations” but she insisted and explained to me that SiriusXM has a lot more stations to offer.
After spending about 5 minutes on the phone with the lady from SiriusXM and listening to her pitch even though I already declined, I honestly told her that I can listen to many radio stations and songs without a satellite radio. When I said this, she asked “how?” and I explained to her that I do this via the internet and the built-in Bluetooth function in the car. I also told her that I really have no use for the satellite radio and that I am sorry for wasting her time (and my time, since it was dinner time!).
This “sales call” and my refusal of their offer really opened my eyes to the “disruptive” capability of technology in businesses and everyday life. As everyone knows, emails are now used most often versus your regular “post office mails” and we may see a similar shift on the radio industry as internet radio may bump satellite radio out of the picture and presumably out-of-business.
I understand that there are some exclusive contents on satellite radio but if people will not want to pay for this service, who would listen to the exclusive content? The content providers may eventually go to the internet and setup their own “pay service” leaving the satellite radio out of the picture altogether.
And with that, is satellite radio in trouble?