TheStreet Sounds Off on Sirius XM

This week, TheStreet published two stories on Sirius XM Radio: a poll asking if users felt Sirius XM was under threat from the new Pioneer-Pandora device, and a look at Sirius stocks versus bonds. The response from users has been overwhelming -- and is response from readers.
Author:
Publish date:

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- This week we published two stories on

Sirius XM Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

: a poll asking if users felt Sirius XM was under threat from the new Pioneer-Pandora device, and a look at Sirius stocks versus bonds.

Together, the stories have generated an overwhelming response from readers, who have fired off scores of opinions on Sirius XM Radio -- the great majority of which were bullish on the company. We've compiled them for you here.

(Comments have been edited for clarity or brevity.)

"I just can't see SIRI/XM going under. If a company was able to weather the economic storm through 2009, it will survive for the long haul. There were many companies, not just Sirius, that got help; remember all the government bailouts. Most of the companies that received bailouts are paying back the loans and recovering nicely."

"Sirius will fail if it does not change its business model from a monthly subscriber fee to free radio paid for by advertisers. Americans have time and time again demonstrated their reluctance to pay for what they have nearly always gotten for free. Look how public radio and public TV struggle for funds and survival on a free-but-donate-regularly formula. Less than 1 in 5 of people who tune in to them donate! This is why Sirius does not seem to be able to reach even 20 million paying subscribers."

"You're forgetting that Sirius/XM is a lot more than music ... live sports, news, talk, etc. If I was their marketing director, that's what I would push in the face of Pandora encroaching on the music space."

"I think this article is a bit short-sighted, since it doesn't take into account why everyone uses Sirius/XM. There may be those who only listen to the music services only, which Pandora provides. But, I know when I drive outside the Philly area, I'm listening to BBC Radio 1 on Sirius and I don't think that will be ever be available on Pandora."

"Pandora, which only offers 'tailor-made' music stations, can't compare with Sirius, which offers a variety of music, talk, sports and comedy programming. I have a large circle of friends, all of whom have one or more satellite subscriptions, and none know of Pandora."

"There should be enough market here for both services, at least now. People do hate paying Sirius monthly charges, but this Pioneer radio is going to cost over $1000 - that's a lot of listening money. I think when other companies join with the Pioneer technology Sirius might have some issues, but that will be years down the road...I think that the lifeline of Sirius is limited, but this sure isn't the nail in the coffin for them."

"Based on my observations, it seems pretty simple to me: when I am taking a long drive somewhere I like entertainment, like music, stories on tape, and this equals Pandora. When I am commuting to work, I like local news on weather, traffic, local events, and this equates to Sirius. As far as I know, Pandora cannot pickup the local news, does not have talk show hosts, does not discuss or debate hot, sometimes socially important topics. So I do not see much competition here."

"I know eight people that have at least one subscription to Sirius. And my social network is pretty small. All are quite satisfied with their product and have had the radio for years. I think this company is here to stay. Think of it this way: How many Americans do you know travel on business and vacation and wish they had good listening content while spending hours on the desolate interstate? Or how many commuters do you know that are stuck on the 405 everyday changing the radio station trying to avoid commercials? If people are going to pay for

The Times

to be delivered to their homes everyday, they will definitely pay for good listening content."

"I was subscribed to Pandora, but I don't really like it. I actually had to subscribe twice since the first time I forgot my username. That's one thing about getting an account for free: you don't know how many duplicate accounts you have and how many are active. I hope the investors of Pandora do their research; they may think they have millions of subscribers, but who knows how many of them are really active."

"I listen to Pandora occasionally and I have XM in my car, home and boat. I listen to Cramer on CNBC via XM, which I can't do on Pandora. I can also listen to sports on XM. After a while I get bored with Pandora."

"This article doesn't mention the content quality of Sirius, the music stations people love that they would never find on Pandora; the talk stations that are not found on Pandora; and the news and sports content not found on Pandora. With Sirius you aren't paying for a simple radio station. You are paying for content. And they've shown that once you try it, you are hooked. Sirius definitely has a good product."

"Right now there is no one close to Sirius in quality of service, content and pricing. I once also thought, 'What is up with people subscribing to a radio station?' but, once you try it you can't go back to anything else. To make a quick comparison of what Sirius offers would be like taking all the HBO, Cinemax and Pay-Per-View channels and putting them together under one low price."

"I think that hefty royalty fees will kill off Pandora."

"You can't compare one aspect of Sirius' services while ignoring the rest. This whole heated debate is over a $1,200 Pioneer system that can basically Bluetooth the iPhone to stream Pandora ... who in their right mind wants to spend $1,200 for streaming Pandora, when I can get a satellite receiver for under $100?"

"If the stocks have risks, the bonds have risks. Why would you push people into bonds on a speculative company? If Sirius is going to pay their bills, as you are predicting by pushing the bonds, they will have to generate profits to do so, hence validating the common stocks' ability to generate profits. You can't walk it both ways."

"While Sirius was busy in 2009 getting debt paid and their finances in order, this site still had Sirius as a strong sell. Sirius has gone from a low of $.05 to a high of $0.78 in 2009. Anyone taking this site's advice missed one of the largest gainers in 2009."

"The assets in the equity are worth more. I think the equity retains more value because there are open channels of bandwidth that can either be rented or sold and separated from the actual operations of Sirius XM radio."

"The bond play is over. It has limited upside. Best way to play is the stock, especially after it fell to 5 cents."

"Don't get me wrong; Pandora is awesome, but you cannot get anything aside from music on it. Maybe SIRI should buy it."

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

>>See our new stock quote page.

Follow TheStreet.com on

Twitter

and become a fan on

Facebook.

Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.