While you probably work with that guy who just can’t wait to start blasting Christmas music right after Halloween, many radio stations switch to an all-holiday format right after Thanksgiving. And despite the inevitable Grinches bah humbugging* at the first strains of “All I Want for Christmas,” that trend isn’t going to change as it’s paying off for radio stations. [More]
It’s easy to imagine a famous singer-songwriter whipping up musical magic in a flurry of inspiration, then pushing it through the studio system and onto iTunes and the radio with minimum interference. But that’s not the way the pop music factory manufactures its sausage. [More]
NPR just wiped the floor with Vision Media, the company that demands big bucks from non-profits and startups to pay for what they say will be a retired and beloved anchorman Hugh Downs-hosted public TV show about them. Invariably, NPR found, the shows never broadcast and the limited few that do air as paid commercials. Once again, it just goes to show, never do business with anyone from Boca Raton. [More]
If you have an issue with your Sirius XM Radio service or a billing problem, and vanilla customer service behind the 1-800 number just can’t seem to get it right, no matter how hard you try, you might try emailing the people running the company. Here are their email addresses: [More]
Last month, the Huffington Post launched a campaign called Move Your Money that urged people to support community banks. The idea is that by moving your money to a community bank, you can help put the “too big to fail” banks on a diet so that they get smaller, while at the same time help a local bank remain competitive. The NPR program All Things Considered took a look at the campaign over the weekend, and talked to some experts about whether it’s worth making the switch. [More]
The blog Personal Finance Hour is the home to a weekly live audio show with personal finance bloggers over whatever topics they like. Sometimes the conversation turns inward and focuses on trying to blog for profit, or blogging as a part time job. Sometimes the conversation is about things like remodeling your home or planning for a vacation.
The new “premium” (their word) iPhone app from Sirius XM will cost $2.99 a month for customers who aren’t already subscribers. It also doesn’t include Howard Stern, MLB Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play and Sirius Nascar Radio. Sirius blames licensing issues for most of the missing content, but not for the absence of Howard Stern, about which it won’t comment.
Sirus-XM charges for access to its Sirius Music Player, but for the past few days, some customers can’t get it to work. One of them in this forum says it only connects after Howard Stern is over, and speculates that some cost-cutting measures have reduced available bandwidth, leading to locked-out customers. In another thread customers are complaining that popular third-party streaming radio services have been sent cease-and-desist letters from Sirius, further limiting access to streaming Sirius programming online. Naturally, Sirius-XM hasn’t responded to customer queries about the issue.
Liberty Media, the owner of DirecTV, has swooped in at the last minute to save Sirius from certain bankruptcy. Liberty will invest a $530 million in the form of loans to the satellite radio company, $175 million of which will go to paying debt that comes due for Sirius today.
According to the NYT, Sirius XM owes $175 Million by the end of February and it may not be able to pay up. Bankruptcy may very well be in the cards for the Satellite Radio super-organism. The article cites a failure to “to win over many younger listeners” and the general economic downturn.
Marketing and PR folks probably dread stories like this one: John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s, said on a BBC radio interview yesterday that you shouldn’t eat too much of their pizza.
If you’re in the market for 50% off a restaurant gift certificate, consider checking out your local television or radio station. Yes, really. Many stations receive restaurant gift certificates in exchange for air time. They then turn around and sell the certificates to the public at a steep discount. Yeah, it sounds strange to us too, but here’s how it works…
Ryan pointed us to an article on Orbitcast about a rumored fee hike by Sirius XM. The increases appear to be for services that aren’t strictly protected by the FCC agreement, which is why they would legally be able to do this despite promises that they wouldn’t raise rates for 36 months after the merger.
This week, Sirius XM began consolidating its channels. In reality, this mostly meant jettisoning XM channels wherever there was a tenuous overlap with something Sirius already offered, which is bad news for anyone with a favorite station on XM who woke up Wednesday morning to find it missing. Alex wrote in to tell us that the four Spanish music channels have been condensed to one without regard to genre, and that the uncensored “urban music” station Hot Jamz has been cleaned up, rechristened “The Heat,” and now leans toward radio-friendly R&B. The Motley Fool suggests that the new lineup may drive people to downgrade their subscription—it’s “an incentive to downgrade to the cheaper plan that costs $6 less a month and lets users cherry-pick 50 stations.”