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July 24, 2022 1:26 pm  #1


Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

I don't think these ads have run in Canada, but one of my favourite radio columnists notes they are making a splash in his hometown of Los Angeles. And he's alarmed that terrestrial radio seems to be doing nothing to fight back. In essence, the ads ask "Why waste your time with AM/FM radio when you could be listening commercial free off satellite?"

He complains that since the corporatization of radio, with big firms owning most of the stations in every major market, there's very little publicity or advertising that's put out to tell listeners where they should tune - and why.

"At one time, stations would place station music charts in retail and record stores, publish newsletters and mini-magazines of interest to listeners, place ads in newspapers, on billboards and on buses and bus benches, host free or low-cost concerts, run live broadcasts at local venues, and even give station swag away as prizes."

To be fair, I have seen a fair amount of what they call busback ads on TTC vehicles and a smaller number of TV ads (mostly on co-owned stations, like CHUM-FM on CTV or Q107 on Global) but outside of those, it's not like it once was. I haven't heard of a station giving away T-shirts, memberships cards, buttons, logo-branded coffee mugs or pens, huge contests or anything else people used to love to gobble up for free in decades. 

"When was the last time you saw an ad — or anything else — for any station in town? Considering the prevalence of pushbuttons on the radios working against the idea of just tuning around, how does any station expect listeners to find them?" 

Maybe those days have passed and people are either too sophisticated or just don't have the time for such promotions in a busy world. But as a former CHUM-BUG member as a kid, I loved to get the charts, contest promotions, 45s, and swag they'd give away (does any broadcaster still do "Checks from the Ex" anymore?) 

Those days are perhaps inevitably long gone, but would it make any difference to you if they came back?

SiriusXM throws down the gauntlet, but over-the-air radio fails to respond

Maybe the audience is different now, but I still suspect people like getting something for nothing. And the examples below, to me, weren't nothing. It's one of the reasons I kept them all these years. 

CHUM-BUG CARD

https://i.postimg.cc/KjYcG1GJ/chumbug-card-blank.jpg


CFTR "Landecker Has Landed" Coffee Mug

https://i.postimg.cc/T2mvbjSg/CFTR-Landecker-Cup-Back.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/8kH3Vyrp/CFTR-Landecker-Cup-Front.jpg

The CKEY Circus Wagon at the CNE (Courtesy Doug Thompson)

https://i.postimg.cc/SKjwxcCX/CKEY-Circus-Wagon-1.jpg


WKBW's Free GO Magazine

https://i.postimg.cc/zvNtKhbF/go1.jpg


WGRF Bumper Sticker

https://i.postimg.cc/qRsQJ7bh/WGRF-Buffalo-Sticker.jpg


CFTR History of Rock and Roll T-Shirt

https://i.postimg.cc/y82T0R23/CFTR-Toronto-History-of-Rock-and-Roll-T-Shirt.jpg


CHUM Jungle Jay Sweatshirt

https://i.postimg.cc/B6FZtrH1/CHUM-Toronto-Jungle-Jay-Sweatshirt.jpg


CKFH Chickenman Button (Courtesy Dale Patterson) 

https://i.postimg.cc/2SLtpCDv/CKFH-Chickenman-He-s-Everywhere.jpg


CFNY Contest Ad

https://i.postimg.cc/TYLLgsxQ/CFNY-Contest-Oct-1991.jpg

 

July 24, 2022 6:45 pm  #2


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

I would love to see some up to date numbers on how popular Sirius XM is in Canada.  Don't care about their US ratings.  And are they growing here, and what percent of new car owners actually buy the service after the freebee runs out.  Are most still subscribers two years later?
 
 Also, I am not convinced that Howard Stern is actually that popular in Canada.  I sometimes hear that he is, but have never seen any numbers to back up that claim.  The very few people I know that have  subscribed to his channel found they weren't listening to him that much.  Last I saw Sirius XM had about 2.7  million subscribers in Canada in 2017.  How many of these pay the extra cost to get Howard and do they listen to him regularly?

 

July 24, 2022 6:59 pm  #3


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

paterson1 wrote:

I would love to see some up to date numbers on how popular Sirius XM is in Canada.  Don't care about their US ratings.  And are they growing here, and what percent of new car owners actually buy the service after the freebee runs out.  Are most still subscribers two years later?
 
 Also, I am not convinced that Howard Stern is actually that popular in Canada.  I sometimes hear that he is, but have never seen any numbers to back up that claim.  The very few people I know that have  subscribed to his channel found they weren't listening to him that much.  Last I saw Sirius XM had about 2.7  million subscribers in Canada in 2017.  How many of these pay the extra cost to get Howard and do they listen to him regularly?

It is really difficult to get any kind of read on SXM's reach in Canada. Subscriber numbers don't mean much, as they don't account for any time spent actually listening and new-vehicle-free-trials count as subscribers. On top of that, everyone I know who listens doesn't actually pay for it (other than me, and I write it off.)

I don't think Stern has much of a following left in Canada. He's niche now.

As for popularity of channels within SXM itself, their marketing doesn't mention Stern and focuses mostly on the first 20 channels.
 

Last edited by RadioAaron (July 24, 2022 7:00 pm)


 
 

July 24, 2022 7:31 pm  #4


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

paterson1 wrote:

I would love to see some up to date numbers on how popular Sirius XM is in Canada.  Don't care about their US ratings.  And are they growing here, and what percent of new car owners actually buy the service after the freebee runs out.  Are most still subscribers two years later?
 
 Also, I am not convinced that Howard Stern is actually that popular in Canada.  I sometimes hear that he is, but have never seen any numbers to back up that claim.  The very few people I know that have  subscribed to his channel found they weren't listening to him that much.  Last I saw Sirius XM had about 2.7  million subscribers in Canada in 2017.  How many of these pay the extra cost to get Howard and do they listen to him regularly?

I've been a subscriber since the very beginning. I have never once listened to Stern.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
 

July 24, 2022 9:33 pm  #5


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

turkeytop wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

I would love to see some up to date numbers on how popular Sirius XM is in Canada.  Don't care about their US ratings.  And are they growing here, and what percent of new car owners actually buy the service after the freebee runs out.  Are most still subscribers two years later?
 
 Also, I am not convinced that Howard Stern is actually that popular in Canada.  I sometimes hear that he is, but have never seen any numbers to back up that claim.  The very few people I know that have  subscribed to his channel found they weren't listening to him that much.  Last I saw Sirius XM had about 2.7  million subscribers in Canada in 2017.  How many of these pay the extra cost to get Howard and do they listen to him regularly?

I've been a subscriber since the very beginning. I have never once listened to Stern.

Then you’re missing out on perhaps the greatest interviewer of all time.  The best radio personalities listen to him for content and to become better broadcasters. And if you’re on the radio, or any other platform, and don’t listen & learn from Stern, you’re falling your audience.

 

July 24, 2022 9:46 pm  #6


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

Stern is just crude and vulgar. I saw his TV show once or twive. I wouldn't waste my time listening to him on the radio.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
 

July 25, 2022 12:09 am  #7


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

He's a bit less juvenile now and he is absolutely the best interviewer in any mass medium today.  Pick any high profile person and if Stern has interviewed them I can almost guarantee they have told him something they have never said publicly before.  He's as good as Larry King was when he was on radio.

 

July 25, 2022 12:47 am  #8


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

The last time I saw him on TV he had women pissing their pants for him.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
 

July 25, 2022 8:33 am  #9


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

MB wrote:

turkeytop wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

I would love to see some up to date numbers on how popular Sirius XM is in Canada.  Don't care about their US ratings.  And are they growing here, and what percent of new car owners actually buy the service after the freebee runs out.  Are most still subscribers two years later?
 
 Also, I am not convinced that Howard Stern is actually that popular in Canada.  I sometimes hear that he is, but have never seen any numbers to back up that claim.  The very few people I know that have  subscribed to his channel found they weren't listening to him that much.  Last I saw Sirius XM had about 2.7  million subscribers in Canada in 2017.  How many of these pay the extra cost to get Howard and do they listen to him regularly?

I've been a subscriber since the very beginning. I have never once listened to Stern.

Then you’re missing out on perhaps the greatest interviewer of all time. The best radio personalities listen to him for content and to become better broadcasters. And if you’re on the radio, or any other platform, and don’t listen & learn from Stern, you’re falling your audience.

Sorry this morphed into a thing about Howard Stern,  and that was my fault.  I do respect Stern's interviewing skills and the fact he has a huge fan base in the US.  I was really inquiring about the popularity of Sirius XM here. I was using Howard as an example that his draw is not nearly as strong for Sirius in Canada as south of the border. I know that many people in radio admire him and do listen but I have my doubts that most subscribers in Canada pay the extra for his show.  In the US he is a big reason for any success Sirius has had with their subscriptions and popularity. .

Aaron indicated that it was hard to get a reading on numbers for the service since it is difficult to know if people who subscribe are actually listening for long or short periods of time. Also all of the free trial periods of three to six months for new vehicles are counted as subscribers.  Hard to know what percent listen and how many subscribe after the free sampling is over.   I have been a subscriber for six years and still listen to local OTA radio by a margin of about five to one.  I can go days without listening at all to satellite and if I do, it is only in the car.   But that is me and I don't represent the average listener because of my interest and background in broadcasting. 

Last edited by paterson1 (July 25, 2022 8:36 am)

 

July 25, 2022 11:24 am  #10


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

One of my best friends has Sirius and he swears by Howard Stern.  Sorry about that pun.  He listens for the interviews and he agrees Stern is an excellent interviewer.  I have had Sirius for 10 years and must admit I never listen to him.  I like Sirius for the music stations and the sports coverage.  When the Jays play a weekday afternoon game, CityNews Ottawa won't carry the game.  But Sirius has them all.

 

July 25, 2022 12:04 pm  #11


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

turkeytop wrote:

The last time I saw him on TV he had women pissing their pants for him.

An extremely effective promotion that happens annually during ratings period
 

 

July 25, 2022 1:20 pm  #12


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

Tomas Barlow wrote:

He's a bit less juvenile now and he is absolutely the best interviewer in any mass medium today.  Pick any high profile person and if Stern has interviewed them I can almost guarantee they have told him something they have never said publicly before.  He's as good as Larry King was when he was on radio.

How about Graham Norton? Broadcasting is now universal limiting it to North America where in the UK they have some stations with 14 million listeners. Jonathan Ross, and of course David Dimbleby ( son of legendary Richard).

 A very sweeping statement Tomas 

 

 

July 25, 2022 2:17 pm  #13


Re: Sirius XM Ad Leads To Question: Whatever Became Of Radio Station Swag?

A long lasting CFNY promotion - many shows over a decade. At Ontario Place the Road Show drew more than 12,000 fans....same at Kingswood and scores of High School Dances...

https://i.ibb.co/MNs3YWF/CFNY-ROADSHOW-2.jpg

Last edited by Marsden (July 25, 2022 2:22 pm)