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RAIN 01/29: Sirius stock "likely to go to zero," says Motley Fool; Radio via moblie grows in UK

Posted on: 01/29/2009

MOTLEY FOOL: SIRIUS WORST STOCK OF THE YEAR

A Motley Fool column, reprinted at MSNBC.com, points to satellite radio provider Sirius XM’s precarious financial situation and the idea that it’s “simply not necessary” (given the competition available for free) in charactizing the stock as “uncomfortably likely to go to zero.” Columnist Jim Gillies points out the company’s huge cash burn, crushing debt, and the possibility Sirius will issue more stock, diluting it to the point of worthlessness.

“A past subscriber myself, I found my use waning in the months following a cross-country trip. As use fell, I found defending the monthly cost difficult — and that was before the economy cratered,” Gillies writes. “Free Internet radio is widely available — think Pandora, Live365, and SomaFM… with a host of new mobile applications… and other automakers experimenting with putting routers in their cars that could stream free Internet radio.” Read the column at MSNBC.com here.

RADIO VIA CELLPHONES GROWING IN UK

RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd.) reports growth across all segments of radio listening, the most dramatic being “listening via mobile device.” Based on its fourth-quarter study (released today), listening via a mobile phone is up 32% among adults 15+ (9.4% to 12.3%) over Q4 2007. Notably, in the 15-24 demo, it’s up 39% (31.1% of people in this group say they listened to radio via mobile phone during the last three months of 2008). Radio listening via a “digital platform” (DAB digital radio, digital television, and Internet radio) has grown year-to-year, with 18.3% of all radio listening now via a digital platform (Internet radio’s share grew just a bit, 2% from 1.9% in Q4 2007). View the reports from RAJAR here.

PUBLIC RADIO OFFERS SUBSCRIBERS DIGITAL KEYCHAINS THATBOOKMARKRADIO SHOWS

Reuters reports that public radio stations are offering a new premium gift to subscribers: a digital keychain which electronically “bookmarks” whatever the user is listening to at the moment, and accesses it via the web when plugged into a PC. “It’s kinda neat. You just press a button. Then you take it and plug it into your computer and up comes the story,” Mike Steffon, director of marketing for WBUR/Boston, told Reuters. Most stations reportedly offer it to listeners for donations of $120 or more. Read Reuters’ coverage here.

BUSINESS LOOKS GOOD FOR INTERNET RADIO AD NETWORKS

Leaders at the two main Internet radio ad sales networks remain optimistic, despite the toughening economy. Jennifer Lane spoke with Brian Benedik of Katz Online Digital Audio and Doug Perlson of Targetspot, and reports that both are expecting growth this year. “2009 will be a tipping point for ad supported Internet radio,” said Benedik. Perlson said thanks to the iPhone buzz, “more advertisers are buying and the buys are larger.” Read Lane’s Audio4Cast blog here.

RADIOTIMESUPER BOWL XLIIICOLLECTS AUDIO COVERAGE FOR iPHONE NET RADIO

RadioTime has created the “Super Bowl XLIII” channel (available on the iPhone via Wunder Radio), which aggregates streaming audio content related to Sunday’s game. According to Radio Time’s Scott Fleischer, the channel combines “network coverage from FOX Sports Radio, ESPN Radio, and Sporting News Radio…” and local coverage from “ESPN 1250 (Pittsburgh) and… KTAR (Phoenix)” with “other shows broadcasting live from the site of Super Bowl XLIII (like) ‘The Dan Patrick Show,’ ‘The Jim Rome Show,’ and WFAN’s Mike Francesa and ‘Boomer & Carton Show.’” Play-by-play of the game itself will be streamed on WFAN and BBC Radio 5.

SLACKER INVESTORS PUT $5 MILLION MORE IN THE TANK

Slacker has scored an additional $5 million bridge round investment, according to Digital Music News, to total $58.5 million in funding. Slacker is led by MusicMatch cofounder Dennis Mudd and former iRiver CEO Jonathan Sasse. Sevin Rosen Funds, Rho Ventures, Centennial Ventures, Mission Ventures and Austin Ventures were all part of the new round. Digital Music News writes, “according to at least one VC, mega-bets like Slacker are difficult to walk away from, leaving the possibility that investors are keeping the funds flowing until conditions clear for an acquisition, IPO, or greater consumer uptake down the road.” Read their coverage here.



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Comment

  1. Hi Kurt. Just a quick note to clarify the numbers quoted in your RAJAR story. The question asked of respondents is whether they have EVER listened to radio via their cellphone/mobile phone (as in EVER EVER, not just during that quarter). As a result, the published numbers increase every quarter because the figures are cumulative. Unfortunately, the RAJAR press release misses out the key word “ever”, so I wouldn’t want your readers to get a distorted understanding of the UK situation. Keep up the great work, Grant

    Grant Goddard · Jan 29, 09:55 AM · #

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