Apple Music and Howard Stern

Posted: June 16th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Howard Stern

With the upcoming 6/30 launch of Apple Music and Howard Stern’s contract with SiriusXM coming to an end, the stars are aligning. Howard Stern and Apple may seem like an unlikely pairing but they would be a powerful couple.

As iTunes music sales continue to lose business to the rise of streaming music and the subscription model, Apple is mixing it up. Apple is entering the streaming music space and needed a way to differentiate themselves from the established players like Pandora and Spotify. Apple Music’s differentiator is a blast from the past – human-driven radio stations (as opposed to playlists or algorithms). At launch, they’ll have one station, Beats 1, which will support 3 different DJs around the world.

For Apple to be successful in the Internet Radio space they should take a peek at SiriusXM. Unlike Spotify and Pandora, which has concentrated on content delivery, SiriusXM has concentrated on having the best audio content in town. SiriusXM has struck deals with the majors sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc) and many personalities, the most important being Howard Stern.

SiriusXM had merely 600,000 subscribers prior to Howard joining the company in January 2006. They now have over 28 million subscribers. Howard’s fans are loyal, will follow him and pay to listen to him. Howard joining Apple Music would provide an immediate boost in Apple Music subscribers.

SiriusXM has done a great job of curating content but the user experience of their web and mobile app is lacking. The iOS mobile app doesn’t allow podcast-esque subscribing. If you are listening on the web there is no handoff to mobile, the iOS app does not know where you left off. Even simple tasks such as fast forwarding and rewinding are clumsy and unreliable.

Howard can bring Apple Music paying customers and Apple can give Howard’s fans a much improved user experience – a win-win situation. As a fan of both Apple and Howard, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m hoping Apple isn’t too prude to team up with Howard.

Bababooey to you all!