Sirius XM Radio Inc. CEO Mel Karmazin said today at the Bank of America Media Conference that the satellite radio provider is looking to ancillary satellite services as well as smartphone apps for future growth opportunities.
This is interesting for some specific reasons:
- First, the fact that Sirius XM sees smartphone apps such as those on the iPhone and Android devices as a way to augment retail distribution tells me that we're seeing a clear shift in their company's retail strategy.
Rather than spend the money on hardware development, it looks like the company is more interested in monetizing on existing platforms. This is a smart strategy.
- Next is the ancillary services. These look specific to the OEM auto channel. And for the near future, that would mean the luxury auto channel in particular. Most automakers are looking to increase their in-vehicle technologies (and driver experience), especially seeing the huge success of Ford SYNC.
So with Sirius XM already having an excellent penetration rate (~60% of U.S. auto sales for this year), it only makes sense to really push ancillary services to OEM subscribers. It's an excellent up-sell opportunity, and provides more value to the automakers' own offering to consumers.
So it looks like there's some interesting capabilities coming.