This excerpt taken from the SIRI 10-Q filed Nov 12, 2008.
Competition could adversely affect XMs revenues.
XM encounters competition for both listeners and advertising revenues from many sources, including traditional and digital AM/FM radio; Internet based audio providers; MP3 players; wireless carriers; direct broadcast satellite television audio service; digital media services; and cable systems that carry audio service; and historically XM has faced limited competition from SIRIUS.
Unlike XM Radio, traditional AM/FM radio already has a well-established and dominant market presence for its services and generally offers free broadcast reception supported by commercial advertising, rather than by a subscription fee. Also, many radio stations offer information programming of a local nature, which XM Radio is not expected to offer as effectively as local radio, or at all. Some radio stations have reduced the number of commercials per hour, expanded the range of music played on the air and are experimenting with new formats in order to compete with satellite radio.
Digital (or HD or high definition) radio broadcast services have been expanding, and as many as 1,500 radio stations in the United States have begun digital broadcasting and approximately 3,000 have committed to broadcasting in digital format. To the extent that traditional AM/FM radio stations adopt digital transmission technology, any competitive advantage that XM enjoys over traditional radio because of its digital signal would be lessened. A group of major broadcast radio networks created a coalition to jointly market digital radio services.
Internet radio broadcasts have no geographic limitations and can provide listeners with radio programming from around the country and the world. XM expects that improvements from higher bandwidths, faster modems, wider programming selection and mobile internet service, will make Internet radio increasingly competitive.
The Apple iPod® is a portable digital music player that allows users to download and purchase music through Apples iTunes® Music Store, as well as convert music on compact disc to digital files. Apple sold over 51 million iPods® during its fiscal 2007 year. The iPod® is also compatible with certain car stereos and various home speaker systems. XMs portable digital audio players, including those with advanced recording functionality, compete with the iPod® and other downloading technology and devices; and some consumers may use their digital music players in their vehicles rather than subscribe to XM Radio.
The audio entertainment marketplace continues to evolve rapidly, with a steady emergence of new media platforms and portable devices that compete with XM now or that could compete with it in the future. For example, Slacker and other companies have begun to introduce portable music players offering customizable Internet-based channels. Ford and Microsoft offer an in-car communications system called Sync, which allows drivers to use voice commands or steering wheel controls to play songs from their digital-music players. In addition, ICO Global Communications (Holdings) Limited demonstrated a satellite-based mobile entertainment platform to deliver live broadcast media nationwide through a hybrid satellite and terrestrial repeater network.