Sirius XM Gets Ziggy With It
Sirius XM Radio (NAS: SIRI) shot terrestrial radio -- but it did not shoot the deputy.
The satellite radio giant is turning to Ziggy Marley -- the reggae icon and son of legend Bob Marley -- to bring some star power to one of its commercial-free music channels.
Kicking things off on Super Bowl Sunday at noon, Ziggy Marley's Legends of Reggae will be a monthly show on The Joint, where the five-time Grammy winner will interview fellow music legends and play reggae tunes from his personal collection.
Once again we see Sirius XM flexing its muscles as both a premium radio platform and a national one to attract a musical genre's top star to its satellite-beamed airwaves.
Pandora (NYS: P) can't do this. Even though its registered user base of 125 million accounts is nearly six times greater than Sirius XM's 21.9 million subscribers, celebrity-vetted content just isn't its scene. Pandora simply has its hands full letting folks customize playlists and hoping that there's enough to turn a profit after paying record labels their royalties.
Terrestrial radio's pull is even trickier. Clear Channel (OTC: CCMO), CBS (NYS: CBS) , and Cumulus (NAS: CMLS) may be the only three radio station operators with the reach and clout to attract celebrity talent that it can syndicate, but the allure of satellite radio -- especially to free-thinking reggae fans who would rather dodge traditional radio's censorship issues -- is too juicy to ignore.
Cumulus can have Nick Cannon's Countdown. Clear Channel can ride Ryan Seacrest's coattails. CBS Radio can turn to Carson Daly daily. These rosters are still finding it harder to match the celebrity talent that's marching into the Sirius XM studios on a steady basis.
Sirius XM can't afford to slack off, especially after last month's 12% rate hike. Tapping into the Marley family for some mojo is another smart call.
In the spirit of the CAPScall initiative for accountability, I'm reiterating my bullish call on Sirius XM for Motley Fool CAPS. XM Satellite Radio was a Rule Breakers recommendation before the Sirius XM merger. It's gone from the scorecard, but if you want to discover the newsletter service's next rule-breaking multibagger, a free report tells all.
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