Satellite Radio: ‘The 8-Track Of The 21st Century?’

In May 2005, Sirius and XM Satellite Radio were attracting lots of media attention. Adam R Jacobson, then an editor at the respected trade journal Radio & Records, participated in a live hour-long interview with Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn on the subject.

Much of the chatter about satellite radio came following a surprise October 2004 announcement from the self-proclaimed “King of all Media” – Howard Stern – that he would be stepping down from his WXRK-FM in New York-based syndicated morning show and moving to Sirius.

Jacobson was interview by numerous publications regarding Stern’s shift to satellite radio, including the Los Angeles Business Journal. ABC’s World News Tonight also interviewed Jacobson. Meanwhile, chatter about how satellite radio and MP3 players would drive listeners away from traditional AM and FM radio stations was a subject Jacobson discussed in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

And sometimes Jacobson will say things that will really get people talking. In May 2005, in a Seattle Times interview, he said the following:

“Satellite radio technology is the eight-track of the 21st century.”

He predicted XM and Sirius will be outmoded in 10 years as cars are decked out with wireless broadband technology.

Today, Howard Stern is still largely popular with those who subscribe to what is now “Sirius XM.” But his reign as the “King of All Media” has certainly ended as he tries to drum up media attention over a new contract at the satellite radio provider.

Is Sirius XM the “8-Track” of the 2000s? Thanks to online streaming initiatives and widespread availability, Jacobson now considers Sirius XM “the CD player of the 2010s.”

He adds, “Sirius XM must keep up with technological advancements each and every day. The poor audio compression is no more; stations that sounded like a 32kbps audio stream are no more. They’re better – but how much longer can they sustain the massive debt?”

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