What, no Howard Stern on iPhone app? Are they Sirius?
Jun 18th 2009 7:00PM
Updated Dec 4th 2009 2:29PM
Some customers of the satellite radio service won't need to hear anything more than that to know whether or not they will download the app onto their iPhone or iPod Touch. That said, it was the sixth most popular free app, according to Apple's iTunes website this afternoon.
"You could argue you're not getting Stern, which sucks, but it's better than what you were getting before, which was nothing," David Bank, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a phone interview. "It's like a product light version."
The app, which is free to paying Sirius XM subscribers, was anticipated by fans of the satellite radio service and Stern fans. NFL and MLB games and Nascar radio also can't be listened to via the app, the radio company said today in a press release.
Oprah and Martha Stewart's channels can be heard, as well as radio jocks Opie & Anthony, who were kicked off the air in New York for a racy bit involving sex and St. Patrick's church. Sirius XM's many commercial-free music channels are available as well, featuring artists such as Elvis, Eminem an Bruce Springsteen.
The availability of Playboy radio and Opie & Anthony shoots a hole in the theory that "mature content" is why Stern's show isn't being broadcast through the iPhone app. Bloomberg News reported that a Sirius XM customer service representative said Stern's broadcasts won't be offered because of it's "mature programming."
Shares of Sirius closed lower by 15 percent today after rising 23 percent yesterday in anticipation of the app's release. Patrick Reilly, spokesman for Sirius, wouldn't comment on Stern not being offered on the app beyond what was said in the press release.
No Stern on the app, "means that it's not a direct extension of the satellite platform," said Bank, who rates Sirius' shares "sector perform" or hold. "I don't see it as a negative, but I don't see it as a game-changer either. Satellite radio embedded in the iPhone would be a game changer."
Anthony Massucci is a senior writer for DailyFinance. You may follow him on Twitter at hianthony.