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May 17, 2007

« Inequality, Education and Mobility | Main | Extreme Marketing? »

From the Consumerist Blog, a nice little posting about the backlash brewing over the suspension of Opie and Anthony by XM Radio Management. While I have never listened to the potty-mouthed pair in my 2 years of subscribing to XM and I don't plan to cancel my subscription, I can understand the anger that is growing as XM now seems to be censoring itself and conforming to the rules of yesteryear.  Whats next, the cancellation of the 80's channel? From the piece,

"Recently XM has censored "The Opie and Anthony Show" for some comments that a guest made towards two governmental officials. XM made the hosts apologize and subsequently suspended them for 30 days because they (XM) did not believe they were sincere in their apology. Many believe that XM took these steps in order to look good in front of the congressional committees that are reviewing the unwanted merger between Sirius and themselves.

This has angered many XM subscribers and loyal fans of the Opie and Anthony Show and has caused them and I to cancel our subscriptions to make them understand that we will not stand for censorship and the degradation of Free Speech on a PAID service that markets itself as uncensored. This action has and will cause a hurt in XM's bottom line and will force shareholders to take notice that XM answers to their paid and future subscribers, not advertisers or organizations with an agenda."

The surest way to lose creative class consumers is to offer them something in line with their ethos and then take it away in order to please squelchers.

posted by David

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Comments

PeopleAgainstCensorship

Very nice read. You know you can help even without canceling. Merely call and say you would like to cancel because of this situation and XM will do all it can to make you stay. They have been offering up to 6 months free to long time subscribers to keep them as customers. I can understand you don't listen but you can still help. If you get one of the rare few who do not offer you anything simple hang up before cancelation is final and try again.

DJM

I will do it. 6 months free sounds nice... Good strategy.... I will let you know how it turns out.

Ron Wilson

This is an excellent example of building an enterprise through passionate customers, then ticking them off. You won't like it when they're angry.

Amanda

XM and Zipcar also broke up over this merger. Wonder if this is the clouds rolling in... on their frequency...

Hurley

Does "sensoring" mean the same as "censoring"?

Brian

I guess I am in the "creative class". As such, this might be a good time to ask how far "tolerance" extends. Admittedly, I am a free-speech fundamentalist, or as close to one as you could come. That said, media/censorship issues like the one described here and the Don Imus episode from earlier this year are particularly multi-faceted, complex, and deserving of a bit more consideration and sophistication than what was available in this post. In these two recent cases, I would agree that there was an overreaction and a hostility to speech. Nonetheless, the speech was reactionary, vile, unprovoked, and certainly hostile to norms of tolerance themselves. That is worth pointing out. Unmitigated tolerance is itself a threat to tolerance. Tolerating the intolerant sometimes isn't the best policy. Do we "tolerate" a Nazi on the board of education? Or on the radio? How far do we take tolerance?

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