Why Sirius/XM Will Fail


So Ms. Hipster and I went out and leased a new VW Tiguan to replace the old Subaru 3.0R. And, like all new VWs, the thing came with a free three-month subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. Yeah, we get to experience Howard Stern again for 90 days! Granted, this is the car she’ll be driving two miles a day from the train station and back, and we’ll most likely use to drive Hipster Jr. to birthday parties on the weekends, and ourselves to Manhattan to go to dinner. I get to drive the Dodge Earthfucker the mile to Hipster Jr.’s school and back every day. So the satellite radio is hardly a necessity, and barely something that we’ll get to enjoy.

So every time we got in the lovely little blue Tiguan with its glass roof, I turned on the Sirius expecting it to be turned off. Ninety days came and went, and still I got my Sirius XMU station and my Howard 100. And then about four months in, the stations went silent. “Oh well,” we thought, “it was nice while it lasted, but now we’ll just have to listen to the one station that is even tolerable in the tri-state, 101.9 WRXP, and supplement it with the iPod plug-in.” And then one night I went to go pick up a pizza and accidently hit the satellite button on the stereo, and on popped Artie Lange with some heroin-filled rant about a trip to Vegas. I had paid exactly zero dollars for this, and here it was. What a deal! I came back in with the pizza and told the missus about the radio’s miraculous resurrection. “Oh,” she said, “We actually just got a letter from Sirius apologizing for turning off the subscription we weren’t paying for.”

So here’s a company that is supposed to be making its money by charging fees for subscriptions. And they’re giving us ours for free. Well, they’re giving us a taste and then legally taking it away and giving us a chance to pay money to keep it going. We say “no thanks” and they walk away and we walk away and everyone’s generally happy. And then they come back and say, “We’re soooo sorry for walking away–please, please, please take some more of our costly product gratis. And we know we said 90 days–but we totally meant 180 days!” I don’t get that business model. Meanwhile, they’re losing money hand over fist, and I’m listening to Gary’ Dell’Abate bitch about some stripper who missed her bus from Akron. Thanks, dudes. And this is why you’re going to fail. See the evidence below.

sirius letter