The arrival of the iPod and iTunes was challenging the whole idea of radio. So Sirius, the world’s largest, most innovative satellite radio company, had to reinvent the radio experience for a more discerning market. More than just a better interface, they needed to get to the true promise of radio—the unique qualities that made it appealing, even in an era of instant media gratification.
Ziba and Sirius teamed up for what would become a years-long partnership. Sirius had world-beating technology and the drive to innovate, and Ziba had a customer-led methodology that uncovered new opportunities and led to products that met them. The S50 “Stiletto” satellite radio was a great example: the interface satisfied listeners’ thirst for discovery and immediacy, while an embedded satellite antenna and WiFi connection ensured access nearly anywhere.
In the third quarter of 2005, shortly after the release of the Stiletto, Sirius saw its subscriptions jump by 90% year-over-year. Better still, revenues grew by 250%, positioning the company for a merger with XM.