I’m not yet sure what to make of the XM-Sirius merger.
On the one hand, this is exactly the kind of development that might finally get me to sign up for satellite radio. For years I’ve been sick of the competing duopolies that seem to develop at every new corner. Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio wasted a bunch of my time and money. I haven’t thrown my hat yet into the HD DVD and Blu-ray ring for the same reason. I stayed away from satellite radio as well, assuming one of them would ultimately die.
On the other hand, how can one not assume that the net-net here is going to be fewer options for the consumer and higher prices? Why won’t monopolistic behavior emerge? XM and Sirius have kept each other in line for years now. Once the cuffs are off, the path to profitability is fairly crisp: raise prices.
On yet another hand (does that work – more than two hands?), perhaps this is the jolt in the arm that HD Radio needs? I know it’s a reach, but no monthly fees, same high-quality audio. Maybe.
I’ll be surprised if the feds don’t approve the merger. Not so sure if I’m going to do anything about it though. I have my Comcast MusicChoice Jazz channel 530 to keep me happy at home (ZERO interruptions – just all great jazz all the time) and have no car audio upgrades in the pipeline.