This Week in Sirius XM Radio

Things never get dull for the country's lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) moved sharply lower on the week, shedding 3.7% to hit $3.15. The media darling's drop was roughly twice as bad as the more modest declines for the Dow and the Nasdaq.

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. Sirius XM teamed up with Ford (NYSE: F  ) to announce seamless streaming in cars equipped with SYNC AppLink. And majority stakeholder Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA  ) hit a fresh high on Wednesday.

Let's take a closer look.

Ford drives forward
Ford has been ahead of the curve when it comes to dashboard technology. SYNC AppLink, a platform available in more than a million Ford vehicles and counting, lets smartphone owners take advantage of their wireless plans by running Web-based applications in their cars.

This week, Sirius XM and Ford announced that Sirius XM's MySXM and SiriusXM On Demand will work with SYNC AppLink. In other words, subscribers to Sirius XM's online plan can stream the MySXM personalized radio stations or on-demand programming by using voice prompts as well as their steering wheel or radio controls to navigate through the applications.

This is a pretty big deal, especially as more new Ford vehicles are rolled out of the showroom with SYNC AppLink. Yes, most drivers will be fine with the satellite-based service, but it's not too shabby of a value proposition to pay $3.50 a month on top of the $14.49 they're paying for receiver-based access to receive Sirius XM's streaming offerings.

Ford's trial subscriptions include access to the online features, so drivers are already being educated on the merits of the enhanced audio options available online.

Liberty Media peaks
Despite becoming a majority investor in Sirius XM after pushing its take of Sirius XM past 50% earlier this year, shares of John Malone's media conglomerate aren't moving in lockstep with Sirius XM. There was perfect proof this week. Shares of Sirius XM have now closed lower for four consecutive weeks, but Liberty Media hit a new high on Wednesday. Sirius XM remains Liberty Media's largest asset, but investors are perpetually reassessing the value of Liberty Media's portfolio of assets.

A Sirius future
It was an interesting week for Sirius XM. The new week isn't likely to be dull.

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