The Lessons Of Howard Stern

I know Howard Stern is the satellite radio guy, especially now that he’s inked a new five-year pact with SiriusXM. Still, there’s much to be learned about the state of the TV Everywhere ecosystem from the King of All Media’s decision to stay put. Here are five big lessons:

Streaming services have a ways to go. There was much speculation surrounding Stern’s negotiations that he would flee for a streaming service, such as Netflix. There was even talk that he might take a direct-to-consumer approach. But streaming in cars still has some evolving to do, and those options would have cut out a crucial part of Stern’s powerful commuter community. With an installed base of more than 27 million, his fans will continue to have an opportunity to laugh all the way on the road to work, as Stern does likewise to the bank.

Be kind to your superstars. Superstars make a brand. In announcing his new deal, Stern heaped praise on the suits of SiriusXM, proclaiming he was “living a dream” on satellite radio, and adding that Sirius CEO Jim Meyer was his “life partner.” The company’s stock got a nice bump on the heels of this statement.



Video is the new audio. A major part of the new deal plans for a streaming video component that will be an integral slice of Stern’s four-hour, three-day-per-week show. In touting the pact, SiriusXM made special note that it included a major push into video, with a plan to gain a foothold with programming built around the host.

Customer service matters. Stern made much of the fact that SiriusXM has improved its customer service and made the listener experience easier. In a hyper-competitive media world, this has become an essential ingredient for success. (Just ask Comcast.) It’s ironic that the company is controlled by Liberty Media -- whose boss, John Malone, in his days of controlling TCI, the largest cable operator in the nation, was notorious for using the monopoly position he enjoyed in so many municipalities to give short shrift to consumers.

The medium is the message. Stern has used the flexibility and creative freedom that Sirius has afforded him to reinvent himself. He’s managed to keep his bad-boy edge while branching out into one of the most respected interviewers of celebrities in the business.

America’s most notorious “Shock Jock,” through his four-year stint on “America’s Got Talent,” has become mainstream: a true multifaceted, multiplatform superstar. Stern has kept a strong base of operations and will continue to build upon it. Look for the King of All Media’s empire to continue to grow on satellite radio and well beyond, if he has anything to say about it. History suggests he does, and he will.

2 comments about "The Lessons Of Howard Stern".
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  1. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., December 16, 2015 at 2:05 p.m.

    Are you his manager or something, have stock in SiriusXM, or just a super fan boy?

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