When I first subscribed to satellite radio, I used it to try out musical genres, such as Country Classic, that I didn’t otherwise listen to much. But now I have become lazy. My search buttons cover seven channels, making it easy to track down favorite songs. By punching a button I can pull up something like "Wooden Ships," "Poli High," or "C Moon." Why bother learning more Merle Haggard? At some margins, diversity makes us less interested in innovation.
Yana, who is now fifteen, likes satellite radio less than I do. She hasn’t accumulated a large enough stock of favorite songs. She wants stations that play the same material over and over again, so she can accumulate such a stock. The Top 20 station fits this bill, but most of the others do not. They are about something different every day, at the whim of the usually silent disc jockeys.
You can discover something you like, and then buy it. But most fifteen-year-olds are poor. She wants to discover something she likes, and hear it again tomorrow for free. (This suggests, by the way, that illegal downloads are the friend of satellite radio, but that is for other families.) This is precisely what satellite radio does not deliver, and why most of mainstream radio resorts to play lists.
By the way, did I mention that "under 25s" drive music sales?
And that is why satellite radio will have a hard time becoming more popular and maintaining its uniqueness. Stay tuned, as they say in the business…