Arbitron's new report about the impact of satellite radio listening on the Fall '06 survey is a fascinating look at how overall usage is changing. As you have no doubt read by now, satellite radio's overall share falls in at a 3.4 level. Divide that among all the different satellite channels mentioned, and their average "station" cruises in at .009 share. The most-listened to sat channel (wonder which one that might be?) roared in at a .2.
Not exactly like the dream advertising platform. And it certainly reinforces the notion that a merger may be the only way to save both companies from overinvesting in programming, at the expense of sales (and I'm a programming guy). As budgets become tighter - especially among younger consumers - and iPod connectivity (and eventually, the Internet) becomes ubiquitous in vehicles, Wall Street will continue to question the model. As we continually hear from our focus groups and our tech polls, listeners continue to push back at the notion of paying for radio.
And the other good news for terrestrial? It must be primarily radio P1s that are buying satellite radio. Even with XM and Sirius, they are devoting more quarter-hours to local AM/FM stations. Now THAT's one helluva research finding.