The satellite radios have definitely taken off. They are incredibly popular mainly because of three reasons that are: content, availability and quality. When you are referring to satellite radio, the quality means the sound quality that can be generated by the equipment by using the satellite signal. The content refers to the type of programs being broadcast by different radio channels or radio stations. And lastly the availability refers to the coverage area or footprint of the satellite. In other words how much land area can receive the satellite signal?
Most of the comparisons are made with obviously the terrestrial radio broadcasts. For example, we all are aware that the standard FM and AM radio stations are different in quality. The content may get heavily filled with jingles, mindless chatter and advertising. The coverage is generally limited to the local area. The two biggest players in the US satellite radio market consist of XM and Sirius. These two are competing against each other and are trying to outdo each other in these three areas.
The subscription radios generally produce a quality of sound that is comparable with the CD quality. That is very high typically if you make use of good quality equipment for playing the received signal. In case you are just replaying the subscription radio signal via small, old and blown speakers then you are not likely to benefit from the raise in quality. All these three factors content, coverage and quality have played an important part in the rising popularity of satellite radio. However most probably it was the content that played the most significant part.
A few of you might be wondering why anyone would wish to use the satellite radio when there is so much of free radio available. Quite a fair point actually, however the comparison can be made with broadcast TV and cable TV. So why do people pay for cable TV? The reason could be quality of sound? Or better content? Or what else? A lot of people believe that cable TV is rubbish as well. The sports coverage could be a reason.
One good advantage of satellite radio is that it is mostly free of any advertising. So surely it is worth a couple of dollars every month and that in fact is its biggest selling point. Most people give the lack of advertisements as the main reason for going to satellite radio. It is quite possible that most of the major league sports will move to the subscription medium in the coming years. This includes the use of satellite radio as well. All major sports such as soccer, basketball, American Football and baseball will probably get their own channel or get attached to other channels.