Thursday, 18 June 2009

From the annals of journalistic innumeracy

CNet’s Don Reisinger to his credit apparently can do simple arithmetic, but understanding the arithmetic seems to be beyond his grasp:

According to Howard Stern on his radio show Tuesday, 60 percent of Sirius XM’s subscribers—about 20 million, at last count (PDF)—listen to Stern’s two channels. That means 12 million people who currently have satellite radio won’t have any use for its streaming app.

Leaving aside whether Howard Stern actually accurately reports his listenership figures—something I doubt, in part because I suspect that most XM subscribers don’t subscribe to the “Best of Sirius” package needed to listen to Stern (heck, I have BoS on my subscription and have never listened to him), and in part because Stern is an egomaniacal blowhard and thus likely to inflate his own importance as a consequence—I really think it is unlikely that all of Stern’s listeners don’t listen to any other XM or Sirius channels. Suggesting that 60% of Sirius and XM subscribers will have no use for the application on the basis of the lack of Stern is frankly absurd.