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Sirius XM Described as Among Tech Failures

Web site compiles list of ideas that delivered less than promised

Sirius XM is included on a top 10 list of the biggest tech failures of the decade — right along with the Segway, the Microsoft Zune MP3 player and Vista PC platform, and surprisingly, the YouTube video sharing site.

The list was compiled by 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion Web site, and carried by Time Magazine.

“Several of the best-funded and most-publicized tech launches of the last 10 years have ended in failure. Many large technology companies which had significant market share and product advantages in large industries lost those advantages,” state the editors at the site.

As separate companies, both Sirius and XM grew quickly and analysts expected the firms to be profitable once they reached subscriber levels of more than 10 million. Yet they took on a lot of debt to support operations. They announced their merger, which took the FCC 13 months to approve “while the companies were bleeding cash,” states 24/7.

Subscriber growth has now slowed, most likely surpassed in popularity from newer devices, while “neither Sirius nor XM ever made a dime,” according to the account.

To make the 24/7 Wall St. list, a product had to be widely recognized and available, aimed at a global market and technologically equal to or superior to its competition. It had to be a product or new company that offered the possibility of bringing in billions of dollars in revenue based on the sales of similar or competing products. It had to “miss the mark of living up to the potential that its creators expected, and that the public and press were lead to believe was possible,” say the editors.

YouTube made the list because the writers believe it would have to triple its revenue to break even. “YouTube is big, but that has not made it a success.”