From the Heavens to the Home
Think satellite radio is just for cars? Think again: Sirius, about to unleash the unabridged Howard Stern, is looking to C-tailers to bring its offerings to residential users as well.
By Audrey Gray
Last November, Sirius Satellite Radio posted on its web site a job listing which began with a few, shall we say, atypical career questions such as, "Can you turn classic oral into classic aural?" and ended with this casting call: "The King of All Media needs production wizards to revolutionize radio."
The self-proclaimed King is, of course, Howard Stern, the shock jock who will have a full team of producers cranking out two channels of round-the-clock programming for Sirius, starting in January. The satellite radio revolution, however, was well underway before Howard's highly-publicized flight from the censors at the FCC.
Satellite radio has been called the fastest growing consumer technology ever. In just a few years since it began beaming over North America, its commercial-free, character-rich programming has induced nine million Americans to become subscribers, all of whom had to purchase a new tuner product to receive a satellite signal. Projections by analysts and the two satellite radio providers themselves, XM and Sirius, have that subscriber number quadrupling by 2010.
"Satellite radio is one of the real growth categories," says Bob Law, senior vice president of Sirius' Consumer Electronics Division. "Being able to sell product in a hot category that's really driving people into stores is a desirable situation for retailers."
Law speaks from experience. He founded a profitable consumer electronics retail and service business and managed it for years before joining Kenwood USA in 1990 to manage sales and marketing for its mobile, home and consumer products.
"I couldn't imagine doing anything else over the years," says Law. "All the interesting products, the constant change, it makes every year different and more interesting. It's an industry with potential for explosive growth and it's impacting the lives of everybody."