It’s been a long time a-comin’, but the FCC has finally given Sirius and XM the green light to play nice together and combine their powers to become a kinda, sorta super tag team satellite radio provider-the Zan and Jayna of the pay radio world, if you will. What this means to the average consumer is still up in the air, but here is the official LAPTOP wish list taken from a quick poll of our staff.
- A la carte station selection. Currently, Sirius and XM charge users $12.95 per month to access each company’s individual catalog, but imagine the wonderment that would come if we could cherry pick our favorites from both? Picture access to XM’s Cinemagic, Major League Baseball, and, uh, Oprah and Friends, as well as Sirius’ NBA coverage, Howard Stern, and, uh, Martha Stewart Living Radio. That would be more than a little bit sweet, and I’d gladly pay a premium for that kind of satellite radio action. Judge us not for our selections.
- Limited number of advertisements. Now that the two have become one and can share revenue, advertising needs to be nipped in the bud before it becomes as commonplace as traditional radio. Granted, not every station features advertising-let’s keep it that way.
- New handsets. We love satellite radio, but it seems that hardware manufacturers are laser-focused on the automobile and living room markets; those of us living the mobile lifestyle are getting the shaft. We’d love to see a new Sirius/XM combo handset in the mold of the Pioneer Inno, a kickin’ combo satellite radio/MP3 player.
- Free Speech! Ars Technica has reported that Clear Channel is pressuring the FCC to make Sirius and XM conform to broadcast decency standards. What??? Didn’t Howard Stern jump ship to satellite radio so that he could finally cut loose like he’d always wanted (and for gobs and gobs of money)? It should be noted that Clear Channel is the muscle behind HD Radio, so that playa most definitely is hatin’.
That’s our wish list. What’s yours?