New Challenger to XM, Sirius Satellite Radio is a Slacker
The XM and Sirius merger means a whole lot to the fifteen people who actually use satellite radio. Granted, I'm exaggerating; some 15 million subscribers exist in
With XM and Sirius hoping to play for the same team in the future, the consumer is left wondering what kind of shady business may be afoot now that the concept of "competition" has been messily axed. Despite the difficulty in taking on a now-consolidated foe, there is a new, multifaceted opponent ready to diversify the satellite radio market.
Broadband Instruments recently released a beta version of its fresh music service, nicknamed "Slacker". The initiative is hardly your average teenage sloth, however, since it ambitiously seeks to make a name for itself against peripherals like the iPod, services like iTunes, and the aforementioned satellite radio biggies.
Those interested in registering with the beta version of Slacker's free (ads included) online XM/Sirius-like service will gain access to over 10,000 stations. Broadband Instruments plans to further develop the framework so that it can someday categorize a user's stored music.
That kind of ambition seems to inevitably require a hardware entry. Indeed, Broadband Instruments plans on revealing its Slacker Portable Player, boasting a 4" LCD screen and Wi-Fi, in the near future.
The Slacker satellite radio service faces the toughest challenge, with interest in the recent merger (and the market) still somewhat barren. Broadband Instruments will attempt to undercut the starving competition from Sirius and XM by offering an ad-less Slacker to consumers for just $7.50 a month.