satellite radio

Ford to add SiriusXM Internet radio app to cars with SYNC AppLink

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 12:50pm

Satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM Radio announced today Ford will add the SiriusXM Internet radio app to cars with its SYNC AppLink.

This means that for the first time, features available previously only on the web -- SiriusXM's customizable MySXM streaming radio and SiriusXM On Demand programming -- would be available in certain Ford vehicles. The New York Times says Ford's app support would also, for the first time, allow subscribers to use the SiriusXM Internet radio app on iPhones and Android handsets. 

Obviously, satellite radio began as a medium primarily intended for the in-car audience. But SiriusXM has evolved its streaming technology in recent years to enable features that would likely be unfeasible via satellite broadcasting, like custom music streams.

Ford's SYNC AppLink will enable voice command, steering wheel, or dashboard control of the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

The Times writes, "Sirius XM will have plenty of streaming-music competition on Ford Sync dashboards, which already include Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker and Mog. There are also traditional radio stations offering streaming channels through TuneIn, plus independent station apps and Clear Channel’s iHeartAuto, which streams more than 800 stations from 150 cities."

Read the SiriusXM press release here. There's more from The New York Times here.

Corker of Tennessee urging opposition to IRFA in Senate

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 12:20pm

The Hill reports Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee is circulating a letter in the Senate strongly critical of the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA), a bill proponents hope will make Internet radio royalty fees more equitable to those of similar forms of radio (read more on the IRFA here).

While the IRFA would simply give Net radio the same royalty-setting standard (known as "801(b)") as cable and satellite radio, Corker's letter says the bill would "force American property owners and creators to provide a subsidy to digital radio services, primarily Pandora." Leading webcaster Pandora currently pays more than half of its revenue for royalties, while cable and satellite radio pay less than 15% of revenue.

The Hill points to the Center for Responsive Politics site (here), which shows "As a senator for Tennessee, Corker's constituents include representatives from the country music hub of Nashville. Corker received $201,241 from the TV, movie and music industries during the 2012 election cycle."

Read more in The Hill here.

"SiriusXM is targeting the likes of Pandora and Spotify," says Billboard

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 11:40am

SiriusXMFor those keeping score at home, there are now at least four major music companies looking to emulate Pandora-like personalized Internet radio. The latest addition is SiriusXM. Though the satellite radio company has for years now been hinting at some kind of "personalization" features (RAIN coverage from November 2010 here), details were nowhere to be found. Until now.

CEO Mel Karmazin said during SiriusXM's earnings call that, "Late this year, we plan to debut a SiriusXM version of personalized music online, allowing subscribers to tailor their favorite SiriusXM music channels to their tastes."

The web radio stations will be available to SiriusXM's Internet radio subscribers. And they will of course be commercial-free.

"Free and freemium competitors online will have a tough time matching the commercial-free aspect of SiriusXM-branded music combined with the unique sports and talk content we offer," argued Karmazin. Clear Channel's own personalized radio service is commercial-free, while Pandora and others offer to remove commercials for paying users.

"Make no mistake, SiriusXM is targeting the likes of Pandora and Spotify," writes Billboard. "SiriusXM's entry into personalized Internet radio shows this is a very competitive space." In just the past few weeks, its bee reported that Spotify, Rdio and Turntable.fm are also developing Pandora-like Internet radio services (RAIN coverage here, here and here).

Karmazin also took the opportunity to attack streaming radio royalty rates, which he says are "extraordinarily high." And Billboard writes (here) we can expect SiriusXM "to become even more vocal about the webcasting royalties paid by services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio."

SiriusXM is already unhappy with its current royalty rates. The company has been trying to secure direct licenses with rightsholders, thereby avoid SoundExchange and the statutory license (RAIN coverage here). Then SiriusXM sued SoundExchange and A2IM for allegedly interfering with its attempts to obtain those direct licenses (RAIN coverage here and here).

Finally, SiriusXM recently updated its Android app to include more interactive features. The upgrade allows mobile users to replay up to 5 hours of content, start songs and shows from the beginning, skip ahead and access SiriusXM's new 2.0 channel line-up. You can find out more here.

SiriusXM brings its new Internet radio-like features to Apple mobile devices

Monday, December 12, 2011 - 1:10pm

SiriusXM's new iOS appsSiriusXM has updated its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps with interactive capabilities from the satellite radio broadcaster's recently launched 2.0 service.

The new features include the ability for users to jump back to the beginning of a show or song, even if they started tuning in half-way through. The apps also now enable pausing, fast-forwarding through previously aired programming and rewinding.

SiriusXM's mobile apps stream programming via the Internet, rather than through the company's satellites. "This is a big move, as Internet streaming capabilities are becoming an ever growing segment of the audio entertainment sector," writes SiriusBuzz (here).

SiriusBuzz reports that SiriusXM will update its Android app with these features within the next six months.

SiriusXM unveiled its new 2.0 service, along with a new $140 radio receiver, in October (RAIN coverage here).

SiriusXM 2.0 will reportedly include on-demand features

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 10:00am

SiriusXM's LynxSiriusXM officially announced its new 2.0 service earlier this week (RAIN coverage here), along with a new receiver. That device wasn't the Android-powered, Wi-Fi enabled Lynx (pictured) that was earlier leaked by the FCC and Best Buy (more coverage here).

Now another online store, My Radio Store, has the Lynx listed (here; though currently "Out of stock"). Among the features listed: "On-demand listening...listen live, record your favorite shows for later listening, or access on-demand episodes of your favorite SiriusXM shows."

Satellite Radio Playground has more coverage here.

Upgrade includes 20 new channels, pause/rewind capabilities

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:10am

SiriusXM's new 2.0 radio, EdgeSiriusXM today officially announced their new 2.0 service. The upgrade includes 20 new channels -- 12 of which make up the new SiriusXM Latino section -- and pause/rewind capabilities.

There's no word in SiriusXM's announcement about the personalization features CEO Mel Karmazin teased nearly a year ago (RAIN coverage here). However, the company promises that "additional programming and expanded listener capabilities will be announced in coming months."

The new 2.0 services are available through SiriusXM's Internet radio apps and on the new SiriusXM Edge (pictured) -- a dockable $140 device with a color screen. Edge allows users to pause and rewind up to 30 minutes. Find it at Sirius XM's store here.

Note that this isn't the Lynx, the 2.0 SiriusXM radio "outed" by the FCC (more here). That device includes a touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity and looks significantly different (according to a picture leaked by Best Buy over the weekend, more here). Lynx also apparently runs on Android.

You can find SiriusXM's press release about 2.0 here and more details about the 20 new channels here.

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