atellite radio has certainly taken off. It is extremely popular for two or three main reasons such as quality, content and availability. In the perspective of satellite radio, quality refers to the quality of sound that is capable of being reproduced by the equipment because of the signal; content refers to the kinds of programmes being broadcast by the various radio channels or stations and availability refers to the footprint or coverage of the satellite, that is how much area of land receives the signal from the satellite.
All these comparisons are made with terrestrial radio broadcasts naturally. For instance, we all know that standard AM or FM stations vary hugely in quality, the content can be heavily interspersed with advertising, jingles and mindless chatter and coverage is normally only on a very localized basis.
The two big players in the American satellite radio market are of course Sirius and XM and each one is trying to out do the other in these three fields
Normally, subscription radio produces a quality of sound which is equivalent to CD quality. This is extremely high, particularly if you use decent quality equipment to replay the signal received. If you merely replay subscription radio through tinny, ancient, blown speakers, then you will scarcely benefit from this boost in quality at all.
Quality, content and coverage have all played a part in increasing the popularity of subscription radio, but it is probably content which has played the biggest part.
You may be wondering why anyone would want to shell out for subscription radio, when there is so much free radio around. It is a fair point, but in fact, similarities can be made with cable TV and broadcast television. Why do people pay for that? Is it the sound quality? Or the content? Or what? A lot of cable TV is rubbish too. Sports coverage, possibly.
At least the majority of satellite radio is free of advertising. That has to be worth a couple dollars a month and it is in fact a big selling point. Many people cite the lack of advertising as one of their foremost reasons for switching to satellite radio.
It is probable that all big league sports games will move to subscription only over the next few years. This will without doubt be carried out with the utilization of satellite radio. American football, soccer, baseball, basketball will all either get their own nationwide channels or be bundled with other channels
People are bored with with the amount of advertising on AM and FM radio, but at the end of the day, the most important reason whether to get satellite radio or not for the majority of people rests on content not even so much on the quality of the sound. If sport is taken off terrestrial radio and only available on satellite radio, then people, particularly men, will switch to satellite radio, which is precisely what happened with cable and satellite television.