John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

So How's That iPhone App Working Out for You, Sirius?

sirius1Though it was eagerly anticipated by the industry and Sirius subscribers, the satellite radio provider never expected that much from its new iPhone App.

During a call with analysts Thursday to discuss second-quarter earnings, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin said the app, which is currently the iTune App Store’s fourth most popular app in the music category and the 88th most popular overall, was intended more as a means of tempering subscriber churn than a means of driving new subscriptions.

“…unlike an awful lot of applications on the iPhone…we’re not offering free service,” Karmazin said. “What we are offering is the free download and a week’s trial, so this was never designed that we believe we were going to get a significant number of new subscribers. We are seeing an increase in the number of subscribers who are signing up for the $2.99 fee, to be able to stream the product in addition to having it, so a satellite radio subscriber who also has an iPhone is now able to do that with an incremental $2.99.”

So the app is bringing in some new revenue. How much isn’t clear though, since Sirius doesn’t break iPhone app numbers (subscribers or revenue) out. Karmazin admits, however, that it’s not much. “You should not consider them to be a very significant number related to our number of subscribers,” he said, adding, “It’s the right thing for us to do, we continue to believe in it, we’ll continue to do more of these things.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work