Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin presented a Senate committee last week with an array of industry statistics to assert that a merged Sirius and XM would compete within a broad range of audio products.
As in his past testimony on Capitol Hill, Karmazin said that a satellite radio merger would keep prices lower and selection broad because a merged company would compete against free radio, HD Radio, MP3 players, Internet radio and music-ready cellphones.
He said Sirius and XM account for only 3.4 percent of all radio listening according to a recent Arbitron study.
He claimed that 230 million Americans listen to terrestrial AM/FM radio each week and that momentum for the deployment of HD Radio is gaining.
“A year ago, there were only four or five HD-Radio models available and the lowest price was $599. Now there are 30 manufacturers of radio and price points under $200.” Karmazin stated in a document presented to the Committee.
The number of Internet radio listeners increased 50 percent in one year, according to a 2006 Arbitron study, and now includes one in five Americans, said Karmazin
Regarding MP3 players and iPods, Karmazin said that more than 116 million units have been sold and more than 70 percent of U.S. 2007 car models are expected to offer iPod integration.
He cited mobile phones as another competitor to satellite radio, claiming that 23.5 million wireless subscribers own phones with integrated music players.