The hiring of Mr. Dylan underscores a key component of the two rivals' similar strategies. Each is trying to draw new consumers with a blend of programming that attracts a broad audience - like major-league sports events - and talent that appeals to smaller but extremely devoted segments of fans, as is the case with the arrangement with Mr. Dylan....Dylan's is the first one I'm going to make a point of listening to. I kind of like this strategy of catering to "extremely devoted segments" of listeners. It's something satellite radio, with all those channels, should be good at doing. In a sense, Bob Dylan really does beat Howard Stern. That is the programming strategy represented by Bob Dylan beats the programming strategy represented by Howard Stern. Unlike broadcast radio, satellite radio doesn't need a dominant radio personality to hold the listeners in one place for hours. We've already bought the radio and the subscription, and one company owns all the many channels. The ideal strategy is to have lots of channels serving lots of distinct niches and impressing the customers with all the cool stops along the spectrum. Endear yourself to me before I buy my next radio.
Mr. Dylan's move also comes as an array of other stars are signing on to use satellite radio to maintain a link to their fans - at least those who subscribe - and broaden their reach by creating programming beyond their own songs. Eminem and Jimmy Buffett have offered their brand names to designated channels on Sirius; XM has tapped Snoop Dogg to produce programming on one of its rap channels, the Rhyme.
UPDATE: Minor Tweaks imagines how Dylan-the-DJ will sound. Feel free to write your own Dylan-the-DJ scripts, here in the comments or on your own blogs and email me and tell me about it -- using my last name followed by @wisc.edu -- so I can give you some front page links.