After years of lobbing and backroom shenanigans it appears that there is yet another mega-wedding in the near future for the two (and only) satellite radio providers – so much for that antitrust stuff hu? It’s ok, while many are busy crying fowl about the monopolistic implications of the merger or how bad for the consumer this deal will be, I’m still left with the question, when, if ever will I subscribe to satellite radio?

My skepticism has little to do with the low level of satisfaction most have with terrestrial radio offerings, but rather how many people have already abandoned listening to the radio all together, favoring instead off-line content on iPods or streams directly to their portable devices (I.e. Cell phones or notebooks.) It’s this plethora of great digital content that can be played back regardless whether you are in front of your computer at the office on the go in the car, or out for a jog, Digital Music, Podcasts and even Video are all just a click away. Comparing this content delivery methodology to the aging passive radio model leaves me scratching my head as to whether I care if it comes from terrestrial or satellite!

If the competition from alternative media was not threatening enough, satellite radio has to overcome marketing and financial problems. Considering that neither XM or Sirius had a thriving successful (profitable) business on their own before the merger; it is rather foolish to believe that now manacled together they will be a drastically different creature. Besides, redundancies and the sheer volume of technical and logistical challenges to be worked out internally make communicating a unified, consistent and easy to understand model to customers and potential new users next to impossible. This will be a tall order, especially as employee moral is certain to be tepid at best, and layoff or consolidation fears ripple through the company.

And what of hardware incompatibilities? Programming and channel changes? And of course there is the cost – both for new devices and recurring monthly. No thank you, I think I’ll stick with my podcasts 😉