XM's New Model: Pay Us, Pay Our Partners

from the this-is-radio-cash dept

XM Satellite Radio has announced a couple of new partnerships in the last few days, first a deal with Samsung where the Korean company will make MP3 players that, when used with a docking station, can record XM programming for later playback, and then completed the trifecta when it said it would also partner with Napster to sell its subscribers downloads. The way it all fits together is that users of the new MP3 players (which can’t function as satellite radio receivers without the docking stations) can bookmark tracks they hear, which will be saved on the player. If they want to listen to the song on their computer (or anywhere else), they’ll have to pay to download it from Napster. Is this smart bundling, or are XM and its partners standing with their hand out one too many times? The way these XM/MP3 players work sounds like the new-millenium version of kids in the ’80s taping the radio on their boomboxes, only it costs an extra $12 a month. If a user’s paying that, and can keep all the songs they like on the MP3 players (which will be able to hold 25-50 hours of XM content) or easily circumvent the DRM, why pay Napster too?

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