With the push towards streaming and listener-driven content, SiriusXM is beginning to cater towards pivoting their service towards that new demographic.
Back in 2001, radio was only listened to on only AM or FM. Using satellite technology, XM and Sirius began broadcasting to special receivers and select in-car audio systems with a plethora of channels and programming choices.
By 2008, the two satellite broadcasting companies merged to form SiriusXM. The combined entity provided more than enough entertainment and information to its millions of subscribers – George and I, included – to be sustainable across all platforms. You can also include smartphones and other mobile devices to the mix.
With the push towards streaming and listener-driven content, SiriusXM is beginning to cater towards pivoting their service towards that new demographic. They are doing so in multiple phases, starting with a new app on December 14.
A recent channel shakeup resulted in the addition of channels hosted by the likes of Kelly Clarkson and John Mayer. They are added to a lineup that is already laden with personalities from Howard Stern to Conan O’Brien; Sway Calloway to Gayle King.
SiriusXM is touting how their next generation platform will cater towards “bringing fans closer to what they love.” The core to its revamped app is what they call “Always-On Personalization & Curation.” This goes beyond just channels, as it enables listeners to customize a listening experience across multiple offerings. You could set up your profile for certain podcasts, channels, and programming.
A recent press event also touted the use of artificial intelligence. That’s a touchy term in my business. Granted, there are some benefits in using AI technology to drive this push towards listener customization. After all, you can flip through the channels and/or the presets if you’re bored of a certain channel or song. This approach might ease the want to flip channels for the least discriminatory subscriber.
It all starts with Interactive Onboarding. SiriusXM wants to know what you’re into listening. That will eventually include audio books through Audible and letting the satellite service “thumb through” its content to create the “perfect” listening experience.
Even though there is emphasis on the updated app, the push towards a customized listener experience will go beyond the mobile device. Both satellite services were born with the car audio system in mind. As audio interfaces evolved into larger touchscreens, SiriusXM found that they could implement the next-generation platform on these interfaces quite easily. That is, as long as your subscription is embedded into the vehicle’s infotainment system.
Another driver of the next-generation platform is utilizing the 360L technology on board certain vehicles. This technology enables the infotainment system’s ability to stream audio content with nominal interference. This technology does not require an additional device in order to do so, but a native system within the infotainment system.
With that in mind, SiriusXM announced that they will have full capabilities available on select Polestar models in 2024. That appears to be the only vehicle that was announced to receive this enhanced audio experience via SiriusXM.
On the subject of expanded delivery of services, you could actually get SiriusXM on your Hilton Honors app. Using Connected Room Technology, your stay at any of the Hilton group’s properties will include the latest content from SiriusXM. This time, it will require a mobile device with the Hilton app to do so.
Of course, you came for the channels and the shows. While Howard Stern, Sway, Kelly Clarkson, and John Mayer will be a part of the next-generation platform, SiriusXM will add more channel options that are personality-driven – just like its current channel lineup.
It’s all great, but there are a few things missing. You have quite a selection of channels, podcasts, and so forth. But, are they touching all demographics? Well…most of them.
Since the demise of OutQ, there has been no real and honest LGBTQ+ channel dedicated to that demographic. Sure, one could point to certain personalities (Andy Cohen) and channels (Studio 54) that may cater to LGBTQ+ listeners, but that’s it. Unless there is something that is hidden in the hundreds of channels and podcasts that have not been discovered.
Then again, there’s always AI to drive such programming…
What we will have a new app, a new interface for infotainment systems, and a customized audio experience for the listener. For those of us who love presets, your channels are available as long as you know where your favorite station is located.
All images courtesy of SiriusXM