December 29, 2009

DirecTV to replace XM with SonicTap

Starting on February 9th, DirecTV subscribers will find that their XM satellite radio channels will have disappeared - and have been replaced with channels from SonicTap, according to DirecTV's website.

Now, why is this more strange than "the usual" content distribution deal gone bad?
For one thing, Liberty Media (which has a 40 percent stake in Sirius XM Radio Inc.) also owns DirecTV - so you think there would be a baked in partnership between the two. But not so.

On February 29th, 2010, SonicTap will be the new source of music for 18 million DirecTV subscribers. The lineup of genres will remain relatively the same - but with one exception.

The one large notable difference is that there's some 10 more Hispanic music channels added in addition to the other channels. Could this have been the deciding factor for the change? It's hard to say for sure, but I can't imagine why both Liberty-owned companies would part ways unless there was a clear differentiator between the two.

Then again, who knows what kind of reasoning is behind the switch. It would be nice to see some level of transparency to explain to subscribers why exactly the change is happening... but I'm not holding my breath.


Source:
Orbitcast

Here's an interesting comment from the Orbitcast website:

JRT
I suspect the following reasons.

1) There have been a lot of complaints about too much DJ chatter... I wonder if DirecTV people complained and they decided to try something new instead.

2) Like it or not, SiriusXM is not the "sexy" thing in the media anymore. Right now its all about stuff that is truly innovative. Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, etc. I think other people are starting to notice, and try out these new things. The "buzz" is no longer on SatRad, it's now considered part of the "old media" establishment.


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