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Howard Stern continues to emerge as a key factor for Sirius, mentioned by 33% of its paying customers as a reason for subscribing.
ROCK RADIO LISTENERS LIKE
SATELLITE, BUT GROWTH SLOWS
Sirius Subscribers Satisfied with Howard, But Overall Interest Cools
Satellite radio subscribers are generally content, but overall growth has slowed, according to a survey of more than 25,000 respondents from 69 rock-formatted stations in the U.S. conducted by consultants Jacobs Media. Satellite radio subscribership has not changed since last year's survey, despite extensive marketing throughout 2006.  

From the 2006 to 2007, the numbers are essentially unchanged—about 12% of rock radio listeners subscribe to XM, Sirius or both services.  Men and 30-39 year-olds are most apt to be satellite radio customers.

Among those who have not bought either service to date, only 9% say they are very likely to subscribe to XM or Sirius in 2007, with the latter having a slight edge.  Likely purchasing is down from 12% in the 2006 study.

The entire report on satellite radio, including statistics and graphs, can be found at www.jacobsmedia.com/tech3_satellite.htm

Key findings:

*Sirius clearly has the greater momentum and overall satisfaction scores, with 61% of subscribers positive about the service. 

*Just over half (54%) of subscribers say they will "absolutely continue  to subscribe" through the year. 

*Satellite radio subscribers devote a significant portion of their overall radio listening to the service, but still end up spending more time with terrestrial radio. 

*The music channels, commercial-free programming, and listening while  traveling are the main drivers for both XM and Sirius.

*Howard  Stern continues to emerge as a key factor for Sirius, mentioned by 33% of its paying customers as a reason for subscribing. 

*While sports programming plays an important role for at least 25% of subscribers to both services, celebrity talent such as Oprah  Winfrey and Martha Stewart are mentioned by only about 1% of XM and  Sirius customers respectively as a reason to subscribe.

* Four in ten (39%) Sirius customers have no major complaints, while three in 10 (30%) XMers also cite no problems. 

*Among the Sirius clientele, the key negatives revolve around too many channels that are not of interest (22%), advertisements on certain channels where commercial-free programming was expected, and audio/sound drop-out (both with 19%). 

*For XM subscribers, nearly a third (32%) mention commercials on some of the channels, three in 10 (29%) point to a great deal of programming that doesn't interest them. Other concerns, mentioned by at least one in 10 XM subscribers,  include audio drop-outs, navigating the many channels, the expense, and not tuning in as often as they expected.

*Finally, the proposed merger between XM and Sirius elicits mixed reactions.  About a third feel it will make no difference, while an additional third say they don't know enough about the details of the merger to venture an opinion.  About one-fourth (23%) are optimistic about the potential union of XM and Sirius, while one in 10 (10%) expresses concerns about this proposed plan.

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