Sirius XM might be making its first play as a combined platform on the iPhone, according to Orbitcast. This would be the first time programming from the two could be accessed together. The iPhone application called StarPlayr, which is being developed by GeeksToolBox, could be released months before Sirius XM sells its first receiver capable of pulling content from both Sirius and XM. The company has hinted at numerous combined programming options but post-merger details are still scant.
Sirius XM is trying to diversify its revenue streams as car sales drag. Until only recently, it was hard to imagine the day when Apple would let any potential competitor to its iTunes service on the App Store and millions of potential iPhones. Apple is now partnering with numerous services that stream music, but this would be the first built around a subscription model. How will Sirius XM package the content on the iPhone? Will non-existing subscribers get to purchase monthly access to Howard Stern for $5? Or will it even offer access to its premium content on the iPhone? If not, it’s hard to imagine the company will gain many new paying customers from a platform that already offers similar choices for free. Sirius and XM have offered limited online and mobile access to their programming for years now. XM set up its mobile shop on AT&T while Sirius went with Sprint. As with the online access offered by both companies, programming is mostly limited to the music channels and some talk radio, but no sports or premium content. Aside from exclusive programming, it’s the satellite company’s infrastructure and near-nationwide coverage that’s been its longest-standing selling point. The programming delivered by Sirius XM on mobile and online is streamed purely through the internet and not the more trusty satellite or terrestrial radio infrastructure.