The New Sirius XM Way: Less Service, Higher Prices

Jan 20th, 2009 // 13 Comments

Sure, things have been tough for the satellite radio biz lately, but this might not be the best time for the recently merged Sirius XM to raise prices on its somewhat disgruntled customer base (like those in our comment section) ,or to charge for a service that used to be free.

But that’s what it looks like is happening, anyway. From the satellite radio news site Orbitcast:

According to a person familiar with the matter, the Mostly Music/News subscription package will be increasing in price to $12.95/month, while the A La Carte package is said to be increasing in price though our source is unsure exactly to what extent. Note that the A La Carte and Mostly Music/News increases look to be in violation of the merger concessions made with the FCC, so I’m not sure how accurate this may be.

This person did confirm that Online Listening will cost $2.99 additional, and that multiple radios will increase to $8.99 a month. Adding further weight to the report on DRC.

Current subscribers will be given a chance to lock-in their rates, according to these people. You can choose to lock in the Online Listening or $6.99 multiple radio price. Notifications to subscribers are said to start going out on January 26th, and subscribers are rumored to have a chance to lock in their rates by March 11th.

Other than that news, a source said that online listening would no longer be free for non-lifetime subscribers. As one might imagine, the satellite-radio faithful who read Orbitcast aren’t terribly thrilled with the potential news, with several threatening to cancel if the multiple receiver charge goes through. While I’m likely to hang on to my service for some time, I can’t say I blame those readying their call to the satellite radio company’s customer service line. I find myself bored or irritated with a number of the stations I enjoyed pre-merger (Left of Center/XMU, in particular, manages to be worse in its current incarnation than either pre-merger version), but the sports coverage and tape-delayed version of Radio 1 keep me hanging on for now. There’s probably a last straw coming in the future, and being offered a chance “to lock in prices” isn’t helping.

Rumor: Price increases to come for Sirius XM [Orbitcast]

  1. sicksteanein

    I’ll take XMU over CBC Radio 3. I can’t believe I’d ever turn on them but ever since getting my Sirius radio, I’ve realized how repetitive and altogether low quality R3 really is.

  2. TheRunningboard7

    On XMU, though I loved the channel before and love it currently, the biggest crime of the recession is that Jay Fogelnest still has a job.

  3. Mick Kraut

    Well so long Sirius/XM. You are making it easier for people looking to cut costs to include you in their belt tightening. Great idea what with all your looming debt…

    If they make it through the year it will be surprising…I enjoy the service and listen every day and will miss it when its gone.

  4. Laurrel

    Shit, shit, shit.

    I seriously (seriously) cannot go back to normal radio.

    Hang in there Sirius-XMU!


  5. How do I say this ... THROWDINI!

    @Laurrel: Yeah, given the demise of Indie 103.1 here in LA, I was thinking about signing up for Sirius. However, the complaints above are giving me pause.

  6. brandonsoderberg

    They did bring ‘Backspin’ back recently but yeah, this is some bull. Especially because I heard Howard Stern ranting about how it was dumb the merger took so long to go through because it would help the consumer, make the service cheaper, etc etc.

  7. Dead Air ummm Dead Air

    As an XM subscriber since 2000…

    I totally made the right move canceling 3 months ago.

  8. DocStrange

    The only thing that intrigued me about either one was Sirius Disorder, which my friend always had in his car. Since that channel no longer exists and was replaced with “The Loft”, I don’t care about sattelite radio. Neither does my friend, who cancelled his subscription.

    The three best radio stations in America – WOXY, KDLD and Sirius Disorder – are all gone. at least the first two still exist in internet form.

  9. indiefolkforever

    Probably the best thing to happen to satellite radio would be for it to go bankrupt. The bandwith will still be valuable, and anything that might wrest control of it from the soulless FM drones running it into the ground would have to be an improvement.

  10. Audif Jackson Winters III

    I defended the music channels for a bit when the consolidation took place, but after a few months, I agree with some of the initial criticisms. In particular, the playlists really have been cut down. How many times can First Wave play “Red Skies”?

  11. chaz7979

    I posted earlier today that this was not a rumor and now I can unequivocally say that it is confirmed: []

  12. dreamsneverend

    I have 3 XM units and I’ll still keep my subscription for now. There are some things I still can’t get (like FOX Sports Radio) on my local AM/FM/HD stations and while I do stay on top of a lot of music being a VJ, I still enjoy catching something I hadn’t heard on BBC Radio 1.

  13. dreamsneverend

    Bummer I have 3 accounts and stuff like this will force me to listen to the crazy stuff on HD radio in my local market. Clear Channel’s mouth must be watering when they hear this stuff.

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