Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. plans to start selling its first wearable music player in stores in October, about a year after rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. launched its own version.
The new device unveiled on Thursday includes enough storage capacity for up to 50 hours of recorded Sirius content or audio files. Unlike XM's portable device, MyFi, Sirius's product will not be able to receive satellite signals on the go and must be plugged into a docking station. But, at roughly the size of Apple Computer Inc.'s popular iPod music player, Sirius's "s50" is a bit smaller than XM's MyFi. The s50 will sell for $360 (euro292). The move comes as satellite radio players try to expand from the car-radio market. Both Sirius and XM have online streaming music services and "plug and play" devices that let users hook up to Sirius both in their cars and in their homes.
Sirius announced in June an agreement with Sprint to make some of its music channels available to Sprint customers over Sprint's wireless network. More recently, XM announced an alliance with South Korean electronics maker Samsung Corp. to make a portable device that can play both satellite radio and MP3 music files. Like the s50, that device will be able to receive satellite signals only from a docking station.
Sirius, based in New York, ended the second quarter with 1.8 million subscribers, with most coming from in-store sales rather than from the automotive market. With more-than-expected additions in the second quarter, Sirius raised its 2005 subscriber view to three million. The company also said it expects to become cash-flow positive in the fourth quarter of 2006.