The New Sirius XM Way: Less Service, Higher Prices

Dan Gibson | January 20, 2009 3:30 am

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]