Sirius XM Radio (NAS: SIRI) is ready to cash in on heavy metal's arguably best known celebrity.
"Ozzy's Boneyard" will launch early next year as a 24/7 channel featuring classic hard rock and metal tunes. Ozzy Osbourne won't be alone. His wife, Sharon, and kids Jack and Kelly will also be hosting their own shows on the channel.
This is not a new channel. Sirius XM's Boneyard had been rocking out to Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and AC/DC classics for some time. It remains to be seen what existing fans think of the move. It's a rough crowd where the more mainstream hits by Rush or Van Halen can be polarizing playlist entries. They'll warm up to Ozzy himself given his pioneering ways with Black Sabbath and his equally impressive solo career that followed, but will the chatty ways of Osbourne's family wear thin? Pop culture and Boneyard are strange bedfellows.
One can argue that Sirius XM isn't really doing this for Channel 38's existing fans. It simply believes -- and rightfully so -- that the Ozzy's Boneyard rebranding will attract a larger audience.
It remains to be seen how much of the legendary rocker the updated channel will be getting. He's going on a world tour with Black Sabbath next year after recording the band's first new studio album in 33 years.
This is still a winning move for both Osbourne and Sirius XM. Osbourne will be able to promote his upcoming record, while Sirius XM once again gets to show subscribers -- and potential subscribers -- that it can go where others cannot. Don't wait up for Pandora Media (NYS: P) to begin hosting music celebrity streams or for cash-strapped terrestrial radio operators to bankroll something like this. Clear Channel's (OTC: CCMO) iHeartRadio recently beefed up its streaming platform, but its reach, as well as that of CBS' (NYS: CBS) last.fm, is nowhere near that of Pandora online or Sirius XM in the real world at the moment.
Don't be surprised if these commercial-free channel rebranding initiatives continue. There's no such thing as too much publicity if you're Sirius XM right now.
If you want to see how Sirius XM stands up to the stream teams addSirius XM Radioto My Watchlist.
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