Sirius Would Get Bump From Apple's App Model

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With all the excitement surrounding the shift from PC-focused Web sites to mobile apps it has been enormously profitable for investors to identify winners in the app space. We've already seen huge stock price appreciation from Netflix ( NFLX) and Priceline ( PCLN) on this thesis. Who's next?

The latest rumor out of the blogosphere is that Apple ( AAPL) will be holding an event with Rupert Murdoch to unveil the $30 million iPad-only subscription news publication called "The Daily." This announcement, however, is bigger than Murdoch, who runs News Corp ( NWS).


I think this will usher in a new era of app subscription services that will become significant profit generators for successful app developers. The a la carte model for newspaper and magazine publishers has never generated returns. The same can be said for television shows. Subscription payments along with advertising have proved to be the magic formula for content providers.

Which company is in the best position to take advantage of Apple's subscription offering? Logic suggests it will be a company that offers exclusive content; nobody wants to pay for content that can be found elsewhere on the Internet. Netflix offers a subscription service of movies that can't be streamed anywhere else and it has worked. Therefore, I think we might see a similar thing happen with Sirius XM ( SIRI).

Sirius has taken its lumps over the years because of its high-cost structure to secure exclusive content, but if this company can re-sign Howard Stern, which looks very likely, and if it can get on stage with Apple's Steve Jobs to announce the app subscription service, this stock will soar.

I'm not buying into the rumor that Apple is going to pay Stern to come to iTunes. Stern is too crude for Apple's taste. The shock jock will renegotiate with Sirius which will give the stock a little bounce. Sirius then needs to take advantage of Apple's upcoming service.

Sirius has done well enough to reach the 20 million subscriber level, but there is no question that the process of installing a radio and subscribing through Sirius is a hassle. Being able to utilize the seamless App Store model would be a real bonus.

I'm buying Sirius XM option LEAPS. (This is just one of the 2011 predictions available at Economic Timing.com.

Investing in this Sirius play should begin with a relatively small position until it's known that Stern is coming back. Once his show has been secured you can add to the position in anticipation of an App Store Sirius XM subscription.

At the time of publication, Schwarz was long Sirius and Apple.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Jason Schwarz is an option strategist for Lone Peak Asset Management in Westlake Village, Calif. He is also the founder of the popular investment newsletter available at www.economictiming.com. Over the past few years, Schwarz has gained acclaim for his market calls on the price of oil, Bank of America, Apple, E*Trade, and his precision investing in S&P 500 option LEAPS. His book, The Alpha Hunter, is set to be released by McGraw Hill in December 2009.

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