SiriusXM unveiled an extensive rebrand and streamlined app today, with Howard Stern, Kevin Hart, Kelly Clarkson and other talent joining execs at a kickoff event in New York.
The redesigned streaming app will debut December 14 in North America, with in-car launch unfolding in the following months. The company also announced its Streaming All Access Plan would be priced at $9.99 a month, a discount to prior levels. Various in-vehicle price points will be announced in early 2024.
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Stern, whose signing in 2004 represented the opening salvo in satellite radio’s bid for relevance, took the stage and delivered a characteristic few minutes of rumination. “I don’t color my hair!” he exclaimed. “I know you think I do, but I don’t.”
Moving on to his main reason for headlining the event, he recalled that prior to starting at Sirius in 2006, “I thought my career was over,” given his entanglements with the FCC. He lamented hearing from loyal listeners that they would tune into his show on ad-supported radio and never hear his voice. “They were running 17, 20 minutes of ads an hour,” he said. Stern signed a five-year contract extension in 2020, at a reported $90 million a year.
Backed by an acoustic band, Clarkson sang covers of songs by Miley Cyrus and Pink. Her new channel, which went live today, emphasizes a wide range of artists and styles. “Whenever I hear great music, I add it” to the rotation, Clarkson said, noting the channel will encompass everything from Ella Fitzgerald to Whitesnake. Her daily syndicated TV talk show also will enable her to capture performances and collaborations, and she half-joked that she had asked SiriusXM to install “a button” in her home to enable her to go live on her channel on the spur of the moment. “You never know when you’re in the mood,” she said.
A key strategic goal of SiriusXM in recent years has been to transcend its roots as an add-on option in vehicles. While that established base remains important and lucrative, the company is aiming to be more competitive in the audio space outside of cars, with enhanced music offerings and podcasts joining the dozens of continuously streaming music, talk and sports channels. The company also owns Pandora and Stitcher, with the latter podcast app winding down as a stand-alone ahead of the new app’s launch.
“The introduction of the new SiriusXM streaming experience marks a pivotal moment in our history, one that kicks off a new era of innovation at our Company,” CEO Jennifer Witz said. “And this launch is just the beginning; we will continue to iterate and develop our product offerings throughout the next year and beyond as we strive to deliver our subscribers the best listening experience on the go, in the car, and wherever they choose to tune in.”
In an interview with Deadline, Witz said pricing for certain packages would target “superfans,” akin to the way some video streaming outlets set their rates.
“There are ways to package around access, but probably more meaningful is to package around content,” she said. “We will have lower price points for in-car products because we think there is a way to appeal to more audiences there.”
The idea will be to arrive at “a range of options,” spanning from entry-level plans to VIP packages. Current VIP offerings run $35 a month and allow multiple log-ins and vehicles.
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