Satellite “blood feud” enemies Sirius and XM are in deep talks at the Chairman level to merge their burgeoning, all be it foundering, companies. Here is the article from Advertising Age:

XM, Sirius Top Execs Stir Up Merger Talk

According to the report, the two parties have been meeting extensively over the last few weeks about a possible merger.

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin seems much more enthused about the idea than XM’s Chairman Gary Parsons. And well he should. Sirius is dwelling in stock market obscurity at $4 a share, while XM is doing just slightly better at $16. Sirius has gone deep into the red in paying their air talent (including the self-proclamed “King of All Media” Howard Stern) exorbitant amounts of money, while XM seems to be plodding along in building their empire nice and slow.

Would a merger be a short-term boon for subscribers to both services? Insiders have said that subscribers would have no change to their current deal. But does that just mean that their fees would remain constant, or does it suggest that you’d keep the same set of stations?

Satellite radio seemed to be slightly ahead of the curve in the realm of on-demand streaming entertainment. While a combined 13.6 million subscribers is nothing to sneeze at, I’m sure investors were counting on a lot more people to be paying for their radio.

Don’t discount a certain psychological factor for consumers as a whole. Until recently, radio was free. Anytime you wanted to listen, you just flicked a switch and there you were. The concept of paying for radio could just feel “wrong” to people. Imagine 25 years ago when some fledgling companies dared flaunt the idea of paying for tv stations via a cable that came in through your house. Cable TV took almost a decade to catch on, and even then it wasn’t the norm in households until the 1990s.

I like the idea of satellite radio, especially in markets/areas where the pickin’s are slim radio-wise. I fully plan on getting satellite radio once my wife and I move to Houston (sometime this year), as I won’t be able to listen to country/Latino stations 24 hours a day.

The government, of course, is worried about the two companies forming a monopoly. What do you think?

— Rob, Editor-in-Chief (the “geeksinger”)

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