New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio [SIRI], one of two U.S.
satellite radio broadcasters, added seven additional states
to its targeted market this week--Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma and Utah.
The moves are part of a stepped up rollout schedule set by Sirius
President and CEO Joseph Clayton who joined the company in November,
after Sirius failed to meet promised rollout dates several times
in the past two years. Sirius announced plans in March to move
up its nationwide service availability date by one month to
July instead of August, and to add entire states instead of
just individual cities. Service already was available in Arizona,
Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico,
North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, aside from Houston and
Jackson, Miss., two of the original launch markets.
Guy Johnson, executive vice president of sales and marketing
for Sirius, said, "We are right on schedule and very pleased
with the progression of our service availability. Later this
month, service will officially be available throughout the entire
Midwest region and we'll begin to move into the Southeast."
In 2006, consumers can expect to use a handheld, portable device
to listen to XM Satellite Radio's music stations, and after
Tuesday's announcement, to audio books and other spoken-word
tracks courtesy of Audible Inc.
The two aural entertainment providers on Tuesday announced their
exclusive partnership, which will bring together XM's 150 music
and talk-radio channels and Audible's 70,000 hours of audio
content, which includes material from audio-book publishers,
broadcasters, entertainers, and magazine and newspaper publishers.
Audible's audio content is currently available for download
on computers, MP3 players, PDAs and other devices.
"XM is widely recognized for having the best content and the
best technology in satellite radio," XM Satellite Radio CEO
Hugh Panero said. "Audible and XM are the leaders in our respective
businesses, so it's logical for us to work together on content
distribution and technology."
"This announcement brings together the best of XM Satellite
Radio and the best of the Audible audio experience," Audible
CEO Donald Katz added. "Together our respective technologies
will enable the consumer to listen to the finest in radio programming
and the best of personalized, spoken-word listening on their
portable audio devices."
In addition to working together to create a handheld that will
play satellite radio and Audible files (downloaded from the
Internet and then loaded onto the device), the Audible site
will be offering certain XM radio talk shows, starting with
"The Opie & Anthony Show" and "The Bob Edwards Show."