I am a long time fan of the Howard Stern Show. Howard’s contract with Sirius/XM expires in just a few days, and there is no hard news of a renewal. What’s going to happen to the King of All Media? The rumors are rampant, but it’s fair to say that Howard’s decision could again change the direction of radio.
Five years ago Sirius was a fledgling service with a few hundred thousand members. I was one of those original members and could not have been more excited when Howard decided to come to MY network! The company grew to eventually swallow up bigger XM Radio and today has millions and millions of subscribers. It’s fair to say that Stern gave the medium legitimacy.
There’s a rumor circulating today that Howard is about to sign a multi-year deal with iTunes. I think the medium makes sense, but not Apple. I don’t think Howard fits the Apple “fanboy image”. This would certainly be a departure for a company like Apple who controls every aspect of their operation. But let’s think about the medium of podcasting/internet radio.
Why couldn’t this exist and flourish in today’s world. I don’t commute anymore, I work at home. Why can’t I listen to radio the same way I watch TV with my DVR? My favorite author/writer Bill Simmons does a podcast on ESPN. I can’t wait for new episodes to appear. I listen when, where, and how I want. What about Pandora? What about the whole thing on HowardStern.com? No reason Stern wouldn’t revolutionize this delivery vehicle.
Whatever happens, the Stern decision will be far reaching. Stern destroyed terrestrial radio and he just might do the same thing to satellite.