Sirius will play satellite radio at home via Net
EmptySirius Satellite Radio -- more popular in automobiles than in living rooms -- is making it easier to get Howard Stern, along with dozens of commercial-free channels, on home-based radios.
The company is set to announce Wednesday that it has struck a deal with Sonos for streaming most Sirius channels, by way of the Internet, through home stereo systems.
Sonos has for years been selling a wireless, multiroom system for playing consumers' entire digital collection of songs throughout their homes, with hand-held controllers that allow different music in different rooms.
Sonos has shipped 200,000 units of its product, which is consistently well-reviewed in consumer electronics publications. Sonos also works with RealNetworks' Rhapsody, Yahoo Music, Apple's iTunes, Napster and Microsoft's Zune.
Sonos doesn't have the rights to carry the entire Sirius lineup, but among the 80 channels it will offer consumers are Stern, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Cosmo Radio, Maxim Radio, Playboy Radio, four comedy channels and dozens of music choices.
"Working with innovators such as Sonos is important to our ongoing strategy of delivering our content beyond the car," said Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, who is in the midst of trying to merge Sirius with XM Satellite Radio.
Sirius sells radio units for the home, as well as portable units, though some complain that it's an inelegant solution because of line-of-sight issues between antenna and satellite. Sonos, operating from the Internet, has no such issues.
The Sirius-Sonos connection will cost Sirius subscribers, who pay $12.95 per month, an extra $2.99 after a 30-day free trial.
While Sonos does 40% of its business outside of the U.S., the Sirius service via Sonos is only available stateside.