XM and Sirius have confirmed their merger plans. The companies have a combined 14 million subscribers. The merger depends on shareholders’ consent, as well as approval by antitrust agencies and the FCC. I can’t imagine there’ll be a hold-up on this — despite the creation of a “monopoly” on satellite radio programming.
As wifi starts to heat up (and eventually lace the country), that will open up access to Internet radio stations to broadcast to a much larger audience. The satellite monopoly won’t matter at that point. Right now with Sprint and Verizon Broadband mobile services, if a hardware device existed, you could plug your wireless broadband card into your car stereo and connect to your favorite Internet radio stations and podcasts. Aside from the Howard Stern fans — who will need XM / Sirius at that point?
Internet radio stations being broadcasted to vehicles via broadband cell providers will help those stations with profitability — and think of the kick that it could give Google’s radio / audio advertising initiatives.
Editor’s Note: Post written by Steve Poland, whose blog Techquila Shots brainstorms web start-up ideas.