BBC Radio 1 has lost two heavily influential personalities to streaming this year: Zane Lowe to Apple and, as we learned yesterday, programming chief George Ergatoudis to Spotify.
But what might have been the biggest poach of 2015 for music streaming services from the world of ‘radio’ hasn’t happened after all.
The last show in Howard Stern’s current five-year contract with satellite radio giant Sirius XM takes place today (Wednesday, December 16),
Speculation grew that the next step for the risk-taking US talk show host was to become a lynchpin of Spotify or Apple Music.
Some even did the maths, and believed that if Spotify could snag Stern, he’d bring an audience of 1m new subscribers with him.
But all of that is now moot, because Stern has signed a fresh five-year radio broadcasting deal with Sirius XM for a reported $90m a year – as the company moves into streaming video.
Sirius has also locked down a 12-year deal with Howard Stern Productions for use of Stern’s audio and video library drawn from performances, specials and shows spanning his 30-year broadcasting career.
The Howard Stern Show will continue to be broadcast live exclusively on Sirius XM’s Howard 100 channel, 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET, with replays throughout the day, and On Demand online and through the Sirius XM app.
Additionally, Stern will continue to produce his Howard 101 channel, which includes current and classic episodes of The Howard Stern Show as well as original special programming throughout the day.
“I AM LIVING A DREAM HERE ON SATELLITE RADIO. JIM MEYER IS MY LIFE PARTNER AND THE BABY WE ARE ABOUT TO HAVE IT OUR NEW STREAMING VIDEO APP.”
Video plans will be announced at a future date and will include video of The Howard Stern Show as well as the Howard Stern archives and special programming.
“As a broadcaster, it does not get better than working at Sirius XM and I’m truly excited for the future with this great company,” said Howard Stern.
“I happen to think that its best days are ahead. So, if you are not listening to Sirius XM and The Howard Stern Show, then you are really more like a zombie, a rotting corpse monster, living half a life, deadened and blackened inside.
“It’s as if you were still watching black and white television while shopping in actual stores on your way to the post office to fax a memo.”
Stern added, “I am living a dream here on satellite radio and Jim Meyer is my life partner and the baby we are about to have is our new streaming video app.
“The joy we are going to bring you in the very near future will make you feel like Christmas is every day. Ho, Ho, Howard…out.”
Said Jim Meyer, SiriusXM’s Chief Executive Officer: “This is a unique and pioneering agreement, which includes SiriusXM licensing the Howard Stern archives in both audio and video through 2027.
“We look forward to working with Howard to offer the Howard Stern experience through new platforms. In 2006, when Howard launched his two uncensored satellite radio channels – Howard 100 and Howard 101 – he transformed how people listen to radio. We are thrilled that Howard is staying and expanding his relationship with SiriusXM to include video.”
“Howard is better than ever,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “Howard is a one-of-a-kind interviewer, who always delivers a provocative, engaging and headline-grabbing show. We look forward to providing fans even more and deeper ways to experience Howard, and his world-class talent and insights.”
Sirius attracted 27.3m paying subscribers in 2014. It offers three monthly subscription packages to consumers: XM Select (140+ channels for US $14.99 per month), XM All Access (150+ channels for $19.99) and XM Mostly Music (80+ channels for $9.99).