(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Carlo Longino

Clear Channel's New Plan For Satellite Radio: Make It Worse

from the bring-them-down-to-your-level dept

Clear Channel and other terrestrial radio broadcasters have been complaining about satellite radio for some time now, and trying all sorts of measures to compete -- anything but actually improving their product. Clear Channel's got a new plan to fight XM, by forcing it to play commercials on the four channels it programs for the satellite provider (a story originally broken a few days ago by Orbitcast). XM eliminated ads from its music channels in early 2004, but Clear Channel objected, and an arbitration panel ruled that it could resume running ads on the channels it supplied to XM. What's slightly curious is that the move comes as Clear Channel is reducing the amount of ads it plays on its own broadcast stations. The revenues the ads generate from running on 4 of XM's 160 channels, which reach just 6 million or so people at this point, can't be that great -- so it looks like once again, Clear Channel and its terrestrial cronies are doing everything they can -- except actually improving their own product and business models -- to fight off satellite radio.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Abigail, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 9:34am

    ? What am I missing?

    Clear Channel broadcasts on regular radio, generating revenuefrom commercials, that they have cut of their own will.

    They don't like their competition, satellite radio, that people pay to listen to...yet they produce 4 satellite stations, that I'm assuming they generate revenue for?

    Let's face it, before long we'll be choosing our radio provider like our television, internet, etc. No more free radio and, more than likely, it won't be commercial-free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    teKuru, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 9:46am

    Re: ? What am I missing?

    Makes me glad I ripped every single audio cd I have come across for the past 8 years. Never get commercials on your own playlist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    No Subject Given

    Satellite radio is where its at right now, but it will develop into something similar to cable television.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Adam, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 9:59am

    xm is actually not a bad product...

    My new car came equipped with free XM Satellite radio for 3 months - and I was actually impressed by the product. The stations were a breath of fresh air from the trash normally spewing out of AM/FM radio airwaves. Especially the obscure music stations (beyond jazz, for example).
    Depending on what specific stations will have commercials, it may or may not effect XM users (if its on the Pop station, for example, I don't think anyone will really care, being that they could just listen to FM and get the same, re-hashed garbage).
    I agree though, terrible move of even considering adding commercials to any of the stations (that's a big part of why I enjoy it).
    -my 2 cents

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Jeff, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 10:01am

    Forget satellite

    The only time I listen to a the radio is in the morning to hear the weather and traffic. I refuse to pay to hear music in my car other than buying a CD. Over the last few years I've ripped all my CDs and have over 2 months worth of music. So when I get tired of a group/album I replace it with something else in the playlist. Part of the reason I stopped listening to the radio was because in 60 mins you usually get 15 min. or more of commericals.

    Ipod = no commericals + no subscription fees

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    discojohnson, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 10:03am


    it all comes down to money. if xm wouldn't lose money by dropping the clearchannel feeds, then i say they should. hell with CC if they want to get two slices of the pie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Rugburn, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 10:04am

    Re: ? What am I missing?

    Just you wait, man! The gov'ment (RIAA), under coercion of ClearChannel and others, will force software vendors to place ads in all software, on every desktop, at every cyber turn you can make. Every time you put a ripped compilation CD into your player, you will be charged a tax...
    Big Brother's takin' control, man. They ain't nuttin' we can doos abouddit!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Tom, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 10:14am

    other methods of radio

    I think that XM should cut their losses from this bit of bad PR and scrap the 4 channels of clear channel audio.

    Beside, it's only a matter of time before every cell tower in the country is spewing out music, radio and TV. it's already working thru your cell phone. for a few extra dollars a month, you'll activate a car reciever from verizon or some cell service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    wow, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 10:26am

    Re: other methods of radio

    That sounds like a great business practice... advertise to those who you know will pay for stuff, and reducing advertisment towards those who don't pay for stuff.
    Go after the people who spend money!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    justin, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 10:46am

    Re: Forget satellite

    Yes, but

    Ipod= Rip time + organize music + buying CD or 99 or subscription...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Kris, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 11:06am

    Clear Channel

    You see, the problem here, is that Clear Channel, as a corporate entity, is an advertising firm. That is what they do. They own adspace on the radio, on satellite, on billboards, the signs in the concourses at major airports, in magazines, in absolutely everything. Clear Channel is not a broadcast firm. Their focus is not providing excellent radio, television, or print entertainment. Their goal is to sell ads to make more money. To do so, they will provide the absolute bare minimum, bottom of the barrel quality of programming possible for the least amount of money conceivable and make that oh so precious dollar stretch like spandex worn by the morbidly obese. This is why pretty much all Clear Channel radio stations are so lousy and packed full of flat, lack-luster, pre-canned, re-hashed content. The ideal Clear Channel radio station is the Sunny FM format (similar to JackFM by Infinity). There is no human provided content. They load an audio vault with enough music and advertising to last a month, then push play, turn off the lights and go home.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    anon, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 11:15am

    Re: Clear Channel

    >< br>
    They did that for a while when they bought a radio station in my area. Then their ratings started dropping, and they finally put some people back at the wheel (mostly incompetent boobs, none of the original staff that made the radio station good in the first place).

    Clear Channel Radio is known for taking good radio stations, or at least those with some potential, and turning them into a big joke.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Frank J. Mattia, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 11:19am

    Re: ? What am I missing?

    amen to that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Neal, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Clear Channel

    Clear Channel blows. They also screwed up a good radio station where I am from. We had a pretty good local morning show. They started adding idiots to the cast and fired the best jockeys. Then they turned to a syndicated show from some other land (stretching the dollar as the metaphor above explained) that is just some Stern wannabe shock jock with a bunch of retards (literally) for wingmen. Clear Channel is all about making ad $. Not about music.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Bongoman, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 3:58pm

    Radio? What the hell is radio?

    Satellite or broadcast, I quit listening to it when recordable cassettes came out, and now that I have a 60G iPod...

    Radio quit being an artform when they conglomerated, formulated, and castrated the music list. When the jocks couldn't play their own lists they resorted to toilet jokes. Oh, and did I mention commercials?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anon, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 6:51pm

    No Subject Given

    Clear Channel makes the RIAA look subtle, consumer focused, and insightful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    You Still Control the Cash, Mar 9th, 2006 @ 7:43am

    Re: ? What am I missing?

    Wrong. Until they stick their hands in your pocket and take your money while you do nothing, you do have a most powerful voice: your cash. It's what they respond to (the only thing they respond to). Don't buy DRM'd anything (why would you?).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    RIAAnnoyed, Mar 9th, 2006 @ 7:45am


    amen brother

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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