TiVo-Like Satellite Radio Receivers Rouse Music Labels

by Sid Steward

Related link: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/finance/external/wsj/SIG=11pitkscs/*http://online.wsj.com…

Here are some snippets from an interesting piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: 'Music Labels See New Threat From Satellite Radio' by Sarah McBride.

Today, SIRIUS offers a device that can record broadcast tracks for later playback. This has the music industry in a tizzy. According to Orbicast they have compelled SIRIUS to limit the device's capabilities. You can read first-hand user feedback from SIRIUS Backstage.

It seems we could someday see unteathered iPod-like music devices that can pull tracks out of the air and record them for later playback. First the music industry must set new terms with satellite broadcasters.

"[the music publishers and record labels] are paid a lower fee for songs that are played on the radio than they are for songs that are purchased through download services or on CDs... "

"... users must keep subscribing to the satellite services to be able to access their recorded songs."

"The new devices 'are an iPod that pulls down the satellite signal,' says David Israelite ..."


"... the new receivers must be placed in a docking station to receive satellite-radio signals ... They also can store music from sources other than satellite radio ..."

"... (current) royalty fees equal about 7% of the satellite companies' revenue, according to Jonathan Jacoby, an analyst at Banc of America Securities."

"Today, the two services have nearly 10 million paying subscribers between them - up from slightly more than four million a year ago."

"With negotiations coming next year, satellite providers and record labels have been exchanging letters and phone calls. But neither shows signs of backing down. And soon, the recording industry may be fighting far more radio players than XM and Sirius. New digital radio technology is expected to allow consumers of free radio to capture any song they like with the press of a button..."