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Satellite Radio Enters Home Market

A year after launching sales on the car audio front, digital satellite radio, with its national broadcast of 100-plus stations, is finally making a concerted push into the home audio marketplace.

Sirius Satellite Radio announced yesterday that Kenwood and Audiovox will ship the first dedicated home audio components mid-year. Kenwood’s Sirius home audio receiver includes basic satellite radio features in a sleek home tuner. It is expected to ship in June at a price in the $299 range.

XM Satellite Radio is launching during this week at International CES, here, a new marketing effort to push its transportable Delphi SkyFi Radio, which shuttles from car to home, to home audio dealers. “We’re positioning XM as a new audio format,” said Dan Murphy, XM VP retail, marketing and distribution, adding, “This is our third launch. First, we launched in the aftermarket, second in the OEM community and now to the hi-fi and portable business.”

XM said dedicated home audio products are not planned for 2003 because research shows that consumers want to pay only one subscription fee for home, car and portable service.

On the eve of CES, Sirius Satellite Radio also announced several future innovations. Sirius partners showed the first all-in-one, single chassis car audio head units that do not require an outboard tuner. Sirius also demonstrated enhancements to its service, including streaming full motion video over satellite. This would enable subscribers to receive a movie while in the car, to entertain children in the back seat. The company has not yet signed content partners but is currently in talks with various companies, said Larry Pesce, product management and strategic planning VP. On the show floor, Sirius is also demonstrating the ability to transmit stock quotes, sports scores and possibly headline news to subscribers.