Art Bell, the radio icon that joined the SiriusXM line-up on September 16th is leaving the air after just a month and a half. While passionate satellite radio fans may not want to hear it, his reasons for leaving boiled down to three main things:
- SiriusXM’s web player is notoriously unreliable, causing a loss of subscribers and a degraded listening experience for those who remain listening online.
- For a “caller driven” show, the caller pool for art’s show is just too small.
- International listeners have no legitimate way to hear the show.
This is not the first time that we have heard issues relating to the Internet platform offered up by SiriusXM. There have been a host of issues from the functionality to being booted off, to having longer shows reset from the beginning after an hour and a half, making it almost impossible to listen to a 2 hour show on demand.
When signed by SiriusXM, Bell had only glowing things to say:
“SiriusXM is the perfect fit for me and my new show Art Bell’s Dark Matter,” said Art Bell. “Though invisible, dark matter accounts for gravitational forces observed in the universe—expect these forces to be at work in the uncensored, unrestricted creative arena of satellite radio, a medium with truly extraterrestrial reach.”
It would appear that after just a short period of time, second thoughts emerged.
The departure of Bell, as unfortunate as it is, should be a signal to SiriusXM. The company has a compelling product, great content, and great potential, but in some ways has lost the edge that it once had. The frustrations of Bell can be heard on other channels as well. Opie & Anthony, Howard Stern, Jay Thomas, and others have all at times expressed a great deal of frustration. In some ways, the complaints of on air personalities ring back to the old FM days of terrestrial radio, a path that many consumers and on air personalities could not wait to get away from.
More at SiriusBuzz.