Friday, November 10, 2006

Can Satellite Say "Jackpot?"



A recent report by Bridge Ratings, extensively outlined the purchase rates and demand of satellite radio. Among other things, it numerically showed who the most promising consumer is in satellite’s future. So who is it?…drum roll please….College Students! That’s right, us college students are crazy about satellite and are proving it with our wallets (and our parents wallets) as the holiday season approaches.

If we can learn anything from generation Y, it’s that we hate commercials and want them to suffer a slow, miserable extinction. One way of doing that is by turning off terrestrial radio and blowing $400 on an iPod. The second way to avoid advertisements in our (music) life, now more apparent than before, is by purchasing a satellite radio receiver. It’s not certain whether Sirius and XM include the college-aged demographic as a “heavy user” when marketing, but they better start focusing more resources on them. The numbers have spoken, and they are telling the satellite industry there is a huge, untapped pool of potential subscribers among America’s higher-ed institutions.

Looking for alternatives, or even complements to the portable mp3 player, it is not surprising that the majority of satellite-curious college students are looking to buy portable receivers (57%), with Sirius subscriptions (60%). Sirius, being the preferred service provider is somewhat surprising, considering XM has more actual subscribers. However, this is congruent with Sirius’ latest pushes to increase sales. Sirius has been advertising like crazy on college football, and college watched sports. It includes certain college-aged programming like Howard Stern, and generally appeals to the college demographic by providing tons of commercial free music. As Orbitcast points out, Sirius has an advantage in awareness for college kids, mainly led by Stern.

Who knows how many college-aged generation Yers there are? And many of them have lots of mommy and daddy’s money to spend on luxury gifts like portable satellite radio receivers. Even if their parents aren’t loaded, the holidays are a comin’ and satellite radio is on a lot of gift lists. Bridge reports that “Follow-up interviews with this demographic show that the lure of the forthcoming holiday season has instigated new interest as the possibility of receiving satellite radio systems - especially portable ones - as gifts this year is a reality.” Well satellite, all I have to say is, DON’T SCREW THIS ONE UP.

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