There's a New Source in Town
Satellite radio is gearing up for the home user. Here's what you need to know to keep your clients happy.
By Chris Legrange
Every emerging market needs to start somewhere. Satellite radio companies began their marketing blitzkrieg by targeting the 220 million cars cruising U.S. highways and byways. As a new consumer trend, satellite radio was an easy sell because it offered a refreshing alternative to the stale AM/FM airwaves, with their hit-or-miss local programming and five-minute blocks of commercials. No longer did the average Joe or Jane have to miss out on regional sports broadcasts when outside his or her metropolitan area. Now, satellite listeners can hear the same programs—whether it's Howard Stern (soon to be on Sirius) or Opie & Anthony (on XM)—from Long Island to Los Angeles, San Antonio to Seattle.
Well on their way to conquering America's roadways, satellite radio providers are now turning their attention to the homestead. Along with their manufacturing partners, they're offering a diverse group of products from which you and your clients can benefit. While it may be fashionable to emphatically declare which service—XM or Sirius—is better, for the custom retailer, that point is moot. Ultimately, it's up to your clients to decide which satellite radio provider they prefer. It's up to you to communicate the value of adding satellite radio products to the home, and then to provide your customer with products that will fit into their home entertainment systems, as well as their lifestyles.
Give Them What They Want
It's only logical that satisfied satellite radio users who started out with receivers in the car would want to get that same programming in their homes. And the time is right for satellite radio to enter the home custom-install market.
A year ago, the hot product was the audio hard drive that gave custom retailers the ability to serve up all of their client's digital music anywhere in the house from one location. While such technology is great, a lot of management is involved for your customers. If your client is a busy executive who is having a party, for example, he needs to create a playlist rather than simply hit play, not to mention constantly rip new CDs or continually download new songs to keep his library fresh.