Let's free our minds for a second and look at 10 big ideas that will increase awareness (and in turn, subscribers) for satellite radio. These might go against the grain, but hey that's the whole fun of it. So in no particular order...
1. Go free, get heard.
You're a media company, so your first goal in life is to get as many people as possible to experience that media. And there's no better way of doing that than by going free. What would happen if there was a free satellite radio service (subsidized with commercials)? There's too much quality content hiding behind the paywall... at the very least, do something more with that online trial.
2. Make it a real satellite "radio"
Let's look at the device side. The problem with those satellite radios is that they lack the ability to receive "radio" - so why cripple the device? Enable your consumers to listen to AM/FM as well as satellite radio. Terrestrial is near ubiquitous as it is, so who cares? It's what consumers want. (Psst, the FCC/DoJ might like this one.)
3. Satellite + Internet Radio = Happy users
While we're at it, if you're going to have a WiFi enabled device (like the Stiletto), why not allow your users to tune into Internet Radio as well? Give them access to Pandora, Last.fm, etc. Your consumers are going to do it anyway, so it might as well be on your device.
4. Give me some space!
Enough with these half-hearted 1Gb, 2Gb devices. I'm a music fanatic, and so I have a lot of music. The only way you're going to convince me to replace my iPod is by enabling me to replace my iPod. It's either my entire collection, or nothing.
5. Use the OEM model on Retail.
Retail is hurting. We need to spur retail sales. So apply the same model you use with vehicle purchases to the retail side. Give away 3-months of service free with every device. (You do it anyway when someone tries to cancel the service.)
6. Target fanatics.
OK, to your credit, you're already doing this. Sirius at NASCAR and NFL events. XM at MLB and PGA events. Positioning yourself at events where there fanatics is a great approach, but there's more that could be done on the music side. Concerts, festivals, raves, dank pot-smoked basements, etc. Find a way for visceral placement in areas where music lovers converge.
7. Get social.
No, not Zune-style. Nobody cares enough for that to work. But you can make your websites work better for you by allowing listeners to meet, socialize and interact with each other. Music and sports are a great way to meet people. Word of mouth is the best advertiser, so encourage it! (Psst, your channels and DJs are already using MySpace to connect with listeners.)
8. Be seen and heard.9. Razor and blades.
It doesn't take a genius to see that video is what everyone wants online. Don't just show us pictures from your studios, put up some videos. Create some YouTube channels (or use your own site). Yes, half your guys have "a face made for radio" but that doesn't mean the loads of footage from guest appearances and performances should be lost. Again, you're a media company, let people consume that media.
The reason why everyone listens to terrestrial radio, is because they can. Give away the razor (the receiver), and make your money on the blades (subscriptions). We all know the margins suck on the receivers anyway. And if that makes you sick to your stomach, then I'm sure a 1-year commitment might make the bosses happier. (Wireless carriers do it, why not you?)
10. Open it up.
You'll never reach critical mass until you get past all the early adopters. So why not open up the devices themselves to some tinkering? Allow the geeks to create customized widgets that can be downloaded to the device. Make the interface customizable. Go beyond your own service and let listeners "create their own channel" via a podcast. Make it interactive.
So there's some ideas. What's yours? Add your own concepts to the list and let's get some thoughts flowing.