New branded iPhone apps are about as newsworthy as new Nascar sponsorships. Everybody does it, so who cares? The exception is when someone royally screws it up, which appears to be the case with Sirus XM. The satellite-radio company ran newspaper ads this week promoting its iPhone app, and thousands of people have downloaded it. So far, so good. The bad news is that most of those users are hopping mad that Sirius XM neglected to include its most popular personality, Howard Stern, in the mix. This morning there were 1,341 one-star reviews of the app on iTunes, versus 309 five-starrers. Most of the comments bemoan the lack of Howard. "The only channel I like to listen to is the Howard Stern channel and it's NOT on the app," reads one. "This app is worthless." Some aimed their ire at CEO Mel Karmazin. "It's decisions like this that will eventually sink and bankrupt Sirius XM," writes one. "Good job, Mel." Whatever you think of Stern, Sirius XM definitely screwed up big-time here. They could have avoided pissing off their user base by stating clearly in the ads that Howard wasn't available. Instead, fans wasted their time downloading the app only to find that out for themselves.
—Posted by Todd Wasserman