Fans of silly walks, cross-dressing lumberjacks, and knights who say "Ni!" will warm up to Sirius XM Radio
The satellite-radio giant will launch a Monty Python tribute station on Friday, in marking the 40th anniversary of the show that started it all for the revolutionary British comedy troupe.
The channel will run on both Sirius (105) and XM (151) and will broadcast classic Monty Python sketches, skits, and songs. Fans, celebrities, and Monty Python members will also be sharing their memories and discussing their favorite sketches.
If this seems like just the ticket to ignite new subscriptions from fans of British comedy, though, you may have better luck returning a dead parrot.
The Monty Python channel will be on the air for just 10 days. It's not a permanent fixture, just as this summer's temporary Michael Jackson Tribute Channel was pieced together a day after the singer passed away.
Sirius XM is simply flexing its nimbleness and letting subscribers know that it can respond quickly to timely events, by carving out 24/7 content until the relevance fades. In that sense, Monty Python Radio's 10-day run may be more of a retention tool than an audible recruiter.
And why not? After all, a lot of people go in and out of the satellite-radio realm, at a brisker pace than the quarterly net subscription data suggests. Through the first six months of 2009, 2.7 million people joined as subscribers, but that figure was more than offset by the 3.3 million people who deactivated their service.
Sirius XM is paddling through plenty of revenue streams to drum up new accounts. Between the streaming application through Apple's
Retention has been trickier. Churn has been inching higher. A recession and the recent rollout of new monthly fees won't help. This makes programming stunts more important than you may think. Subscribers know that Sirius XM can pull some amazing content out of their hats at will.
Can free streamers, including Time Warner
Sirius XM isn't as mangled as its stock price suggests. It's just a flesh wound.
Have you activated or deactivated a Sirius or XM subscription over the past year? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a subscriber to both Sirius and XM. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.