Sirius XM Raising Rates: A good move or a bad one? - Orbitcast

Sirius XM Raising Rates: A good move or a bad one?

| 124 Comments
Sirius XM PricesThe rumors that Sirius XM Radio Inc. are raising the rates of some subscription packages have been confirmed by Reuters, as well as by several others. Sirius XM representatives haven't denied it to me either, which isn't "a confirmation" but it doesn't leave much room for doubt.

So we now know that on March 11th, the online listening  packages will increase to about $3 a month, and multiple radio accounts will go from about $7 to just under $9 a month.

The question I have: is this a good move by the company?


I understand Sirius XM needs to make more money. I get it. There's a pile of debt and their teetering on the edge. If the company doesn't survive, then we (as subscribers) get nothing.

From this point, I agree with the multiple-radio price hike. It's an immediate opportunity to add revenue - either through mass subscribers locking in their rates with long-term subscriptions, or by the new price increase. We can probably assume that the people who have multiple radios are dedicated fans of the service, and are willing to pay a couple bucks more a month to maintain that service.

Reality check: This is hardly the kind of price increases we would see coming from the cable industry.

In that frame of mind, I'm willing to accept it, especially if Sirius XM are going to give current subscribers the opportunity to lock in their rates. Does cable do that? Hardly. They just raise the rates.

So what about the online listening price hike from free to $3 a month?

That I have a problem with. For many people, the online listening is simply part of the package. It's not an added value, it's what you get. Most folks cannot setup their physical satellite radios at their workplace, so the XM Radio Online and Sirius Internet Radio features are the only way to listening at work.

Does this leave them with no option but to upgrade? Absolutely not.

Online listening is also wrought with a dizzying array of choices - far more that in-car listening. For in-car listening, you have the choice of Satellite Radio, AM/FM Radio, or your own selection of music. But the options available to you from behind a keyboard are huge. And free.

Consider this: Sirius XM essentially offer up a "crippled" version of their satellite service. And now they asking consumers to pay extra for it, with the added benefit for 128k "premium" sound quality.

This strategy could backfire, because the first instinct of many users will be to seek out alternatives. Sending these subscribers into the open arms of the competition.

My initial thought to this news, and it remains today, is that this is the exact opposite of what Sirius XM should be doing. They should be giving away the Online Listening, and using it as a lead-generation tool.

The more that people experience satellite radio, the more they fall in love with it. Sirius XM should be working towards increasing the experience possibilties, not discouraging it.

But there's one added benefit of charging for the Online Listening options. By charging for online, they effectively negate the threat of side-options, like the satellite radio iPhone app. Again, something I understand, but don't necessarily agree with.

[Reuters]

124 Comments

Well, i think they have no choice as its survival time--Bitch all you want, and im not happy with the online fee when i listen to sat radio by the pool with my boombox via wireless internet, yet they need new revenue---and fast--The alternatives are NO sat radio company at all-
I hope they do market it heavily via several blast emails/mailers to all subs etc outlining CLEARLY what the options are going to and more importantly, how you can LOCK in the old price by paying in advance--Thats a win-win to all of us(sirius too) and it shows some concern for their customers unlike cable which does whatever they want with no warning or opportunity to lock in rates--I dont think this will lose many subs(other then a few blowhards on the net who bitch about everything)

I've been listening to Slacker online instead of XM online for the last two days at work and really like it. I'm hoping to upgrade to an iPhone when my contract runs out. I can then hook it up to the Aux jack in my car and bye-bye XM. I can get talk with commercials on regular radio and I really like the customization ability of Slacker...so no more need for satellite.

Hell yeah, it's a good move. They can always bring them back down at a later date if it's economically feasible, but they are cash strapped right now. Not all plans are going up, just some of them. Fifty cents a week is not going to make or break most listeners.

While I do think that the service is underpriced...I also think that right now is not a good time to rise prices on anything, people are looking for ways to save money and when they see that the price for their satellite radio service is going up, they may decide to cut that to save money.

I think the real reason why they are doing this is because Sirius needs money NOW...If they get millions of people to pay for their service for a year or two in advance they will be in good shape cash flow wise for this year. Don't they have a large amount of debt that needs to be settled in Q2?

Good luck with that slacker in the car I tried it and it crashes.I like it at work but
It will never have the content Sirius has!

BAD Move!!

"They should be giving away the Online Listening, and using it as a lead-generation tool." I agree 100% with this. It should stay apart of the package as it is now.

I believe that it will hurt more than help.

I listen all day to XM Online, but I don't beleive I will pay for it

If they could include some of the talk shows, Glenn Beck, Hannity, I would pay it, but the 125k isn't enough for me.



I have no problem with the $2 increase on addition radios. I do have 2 radios so this will affect me. But I am willing to pay that even though I don't like it.

However, I agree the online listen for $2.99 is bull. I bought a $100 boombox for my sporter 5 and cannot get a signal in my work. So I listen online. If they do this I will cancel my 2nd radio (only because im pissed) and I will not pay for online listening. This is crap and we should start a site to stop this from happening. Sirius’s signal is so poor that online listen is an important part of the plan.

If you sit under a tree branch you cant pick up a satellite signal! So until they fix this online better be free.

we have a couple different ways to look at it

1) you have the love it or leave it crowd who will defend anything Sirius XM does to the end, with a "don't let the door hit ya on the way out" mentality if you don't like it

2) you have the poeple that will complain about every little thing they do, and probably will not be happy with anything

I think a lot of us fall in the middle. $2 is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if someone has 3 or 4 radios, the price hike may be enough to take a look about how they can eliminate some of the extra radios and get by on one or two. When people are looking to cut costs by a little, getting rid of unnecessary radios will probably be a good place to start espeecially if you are looking at an increased price.

I myself has found my XM listening going down over the past year -- with tighter, hits based playlists (i can recall times of listening to a CD and have heard over half of the songs on XM radio), single artist channels increasing, sometimes at the expense of other music channels. I do not spend that much time in the car, so my listening time in my car is next to nothing. I used to listen to XM online all the time at work, but after a couple weeks of the channel changes, I stick to my ipod or slacker. I can't justify paying an additional subscription when I don't listen to it as much as I used to.

With that said, I am not cancelling altogether. we will keep a unit in my wifes car--which we use for any road trip, and will keep the antennae for my vehicle accessible so if i take my car on a road trip, i can easily take the unit from her car. but as far as just listening at work, between all the online options and my ipod, my XM listening has gone way down.

To the people who fall into the second category...take a stand if you are unhappy and cancel, and don't take the discounted or free months they offer.

To the love it or leave it crowd--you don't need to go along and be happy about everything they do. the same people who say it's only $2, are more than likely the ones who defended the channel changes. What next, will they start adding a few minutes of commercials? will you just sit back and say "they need the money, its still way better than the 15 minutes of commercials on terrestrial"?

All of us others will look at our usage and expense and see if the $2 increase per extra radio is worth it, or if we can save money by getting by on fewer radios. the $2 increase may push those who were on the fence about cancelling--the ones hanging on to see what happens with the programming once the merger dust settles--it may be the thing that makes their decision to cancel their extra radios, if not cancel all of their subscriptions.

For me, It's not about affording the $2 increase,but the fact that my usage has gone considerably down to justify paying an increased cost on an additional radio.

I loveD XM before the merger. At no point could I envision myself having any other form of audio in my car or house. Then I bought an iphone and I have access to tons of talk radio via AOL Radio that I could only get on my XM prior to that. Slacker and Pandora take care of the music as well. The ease to which the iphone integrates into my car and house have severely hampered the exclusiveness my XM used to have. I can get most of the content that I get on my XM via my phone now. One less device for me. That said, I still love the sports and love my Inno. MLB Home Plate used to be a staple for me, but since the merger they've messed up all the shows I used to listen to and like. The change in service at an increased price is pushing me to find alternatives. That's not what SiriusXM needs to be doing. As a devoted "Satradder" I'm now finding easy alternatives that would fill the voids I create by canceling. Kinda hard to justify what will become a $25/month service.

I still support XM (what little is left of it) but I don't see alot of positives since the merger. It's still very early and I have hope but if this continues the end result could be backrupty. When one states how annoyed they are it's not about bitching but expressing concern for a product you have enjoyed for some years and your seeing it suffer as a product. It's not ruined yet but a decline is happening during an awful economy. And now a small hike in prices. Bad move and I'm expecting all prices on Sat. Radio to go up. Remember, Mel raised the price from $9.99 a month to $12.99 and Xm followed suit.

From a survival stand point, I see the reality in the move to raise the additional radios to $2.00 a month. I agree with Ryan's assessment on the charging for the internet issue. This will probably hurt the company in the end (remember the days when XM gave the internet for free with AOL Radio to increase exposure). There are just too many alternatives out there with the internet to generate any significant revenue by doing this.
In reality, the extra $24 a year won't cripple me financially (those with more than 2 radios will feel a lot differently and this may end up huring Sirius XM finacially in the long run). However, with the reality of a potential bankruptcy, I would have to now think long and hard if I wanted to pay money up front to lock in the rate for the next year or 2. If the company declares bankruptcy, and nobody takes them over, you can kiss the money you pre-paid to lock in the rates goodbye.

I think a price increase is LONG LONG LONG overdue for SIRIUS. I've been a subscriber for
over 4 years and Sirius has never raised prices.
$24 a year increase for my 2nd Sirius sub is
NO BIG DEAL.

Hell , my Comcast TV bill ( with no
additional services ) has gone up $20 per month
over those same 4 years. In fact every monthly
bill I receive has gone up 20%+ in the past
4 years.

I have not agonozed over this but the internet pricing strikes me as probably a means to increase the value to SIRI of internet streaming to mobile devices like iphones, smart phones, organizers or netbooks. This may signal a new partnership, with some revenue sharing, on mobile devices is about to be announced.

I would not mind the increase if they reinstated better progamming like we used to have. We have cancelled three radios because of rotton programming and the loss of X Country. XM/Sirius' replacement is pathetic and is not worthy of a fee of any kind.

Real bad move. The money raised by the price hikes will be offset by the number of casual listeners who may drop the service.

As for the online, there are hundreds of free alternatives to listening online to Sirius XM's music stations online, so only the die hards who want to listen to the few exclusive channels will be the ones who pay for it.

A company must do what it needs to to survice, what I don't agree with, is how Sirius slaughtered the XM playlists. I agree, if you don't like the sat rad service, don't subscribe that's what I did. I went with Slacker, and I'm very very happy and why is that?

- I love music, and I get deep playlists
- Excellent customization, I love the fine tuning
- Very obscure music as well as hits.
- The sound quality is superb to that of satrad
- the device works without a signal
- its free

Slacker is designed to be customized, so if you buy one and expect it to act like a sat rad, you will be disappointed.

They are missing the boat. They should be giving away units, or at least pricing them like cell phones to get ears, and then load up on subscribers that way. If you ask the people at Slacker, they'll say that their subscriptions and traffic went through the roof when they unloaded a bunch of 1st generation Slackers on WOOT in December. The new money was a windfall.

just sayin'

thj

I'm on the fence about this price increase, in reality it is small. But...I now have alot of music sources with my iPhone. Luckily my 3G coverage is good during my commute so I have no issue using Slacker, Pandora or AOL Radio while in the car. The transition of the online access to an extra pay for feature hurts since we are so close to seeing a iPhone app. If you have seen my other comments, the thorn in my side is the dual subscription issue. I am a long time XMer with multiple radios so it really bothers me to have to seperately subscribe to Sirius with the best of XM in my Dodge to receive XM202/197. Frankly I think I wlll be cutting that subscribtion back to music only if they don't merge billing systems soon.

So now I have to pay for the internet stream and the iPhone app that will allow me to play it? That's the ONLY way I'd pay for the 'net stream - otherwise it just isn't worth it. $3/month? SERIOUSLY?

I'll eat the cost increase for my 2nd radio, as my wife and I do use them every day. But the online version is the only way I can listen at work, and I liked that it was part of the deal. The fact that I may get slightly better sound is nice, but a talk channel doesn't really need it.

TK

I agree. If the price increase for secondary sub must be done. I'm not thrilled. BUT! The charge for online is nuts. Going from $6.99 to $8.99 is one thing for sub because you are already paying for that. But charging for a service that is FREE!? That's unacceptable! They will loose alot of subs because of this move.

Do I think it's a bad move...I only have one radio, plus I listen online. The increase will not affect me really. That being said, HELL YES IT'S A BAD MOVE! It just goes to show what type of company Sirius really is and what type of person Mel Karmizan really is.

He says he's not interested in merging. To help try to pay down the debt of overly priced talent, he merges. He then says that he won't raise prices. He goes deeper into debt bring the stock down to $0.10 a share, so he decides to raise prices.

How is he getting away with this? Wasn't that one of the terms in the merger agreement? Didn't they have to promise that to the FCC? There will be a class action lawsuit filed after this is all said and done. Mel drug a fantastic medium down into the ground along with Sirius. I, for one, hope that he's brought up on charges. He's a liar and a thief.

with the iPhone app there is a real market for people to subscribe @ $3 to listen on their iPhone to SiriusXM. that is a potential boom for satrad as long as they don't require a full sub to get the content on the iPhone beside the $3.

a lot of people don't live in their vehicles, cannot receive satrad in their work or school environment, and want the convenience of listening on the iPhone. money is money for SiriusXM.

either they make money or they go away. competition keeps competing services very low. if SiriusXM goes away, why shouldn't slacker, etc jack up their prices?

dunno.

Ryan is dead right!

The secondary sub hike is desparately needed. I get it.

The internet charge is not going to work.

Why not still make the internet radio free for people who have more than two radios? At least reward the heavy users.

1 - Even if we get the upgrade to 128k, the software for the player is terrible and hasn't been upgraded ever!

2 - Too much online competition. Slacker kills them if you just look at it from an online POV.

Quite a pickle this company is in. I hope they survive!

For me, I was on the fence on keeping my service. I've been listening less and less as time's gone on...between better options in internet radio, and podcasts, etc, I was beginning to question whether SiriusXM was worth the price for me. Now that the secondary radios are bumping up as well with the internet service that I no longer use, I am planning on canceling both my radios.

Sorry SiriusXM...I loved my Sirius since I signed up in 2005, but these days it doesn't hold the same value for me. In 2005, it was a great deal. In 2009, it's no where near as valuable -- for me personally, that is.

Shitty economy, raise prices!

Perfect solution!!!

I wonder if the other suits considered cutting their own salaries for even a second...

there will be cancellations which will basically even out the number that stay aboard and pay. terrible inconsiderate move.

I agree. Restore the programming that gave me a reason to subscribe, and then I'll happily pay more. In the current situation, I'll pay less after this and not more by canceling two of four radios. I should have made that change immediately after the programming destruction, but I've been complacent. I appreciate that the price increase will motivate me to do what's been warranted since November.

"The more that people experience satellite radio, the more they fall in love with it. Sirius XM should be working towards increasing the experience possibilties, not discouraging it."

Great point Ryan!

As for existing rates going a whopping $2 - it's not the end of the world and won't break the bank. At least it shouldn't. If you need that $2 that badly then maybe you shouldn't be spending it on satellite radio.

BAD,BAD,BAD.........Just another example of super greed running rampant on planet earth.Get rid of the idiotic DJ,s and save yourself a lot of wasted money.When I signed on with XM I was quite happy just listening to my favorite tunes uniterupted.Since the merger Its like,WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!! Some overopinionated DJ keeps sticking their mindless drivle into my listening space!!!And they want me to pay more for this??!! MADISON....SHUT UP YOU AIRHEAD!!!

Well just like our Government, they over spent on things like Sterns salary and now we will have to pay for it, this is a dieing business and sadly it is only a matter of time until we see the NO SIGNAL permanently on our screens.

Don't mind the price increase if they can improve the programming back to the XM level. Speciffically the return of Beyond Jazz. The current Jazz/Blues selections that are hold overs from sirius are weak at best. First Wave dosen't even compete with Fred. Most of the listening has become pathetic. I'm not worried about a price increase becasue unless some programming changes are put into place I won't be renweing my subscriptions.

I'm not to thrilled about it but honestly the more I think about it...when was the last time Sirius Raised their prices? Since I have had Sirius, Comcast, Verizon, and Vonage have all raised their prices.

I do most of my listening online so I will probably pay the fee but I would ask Sirius to bump up the bitrate and offer all channels now that we will be paying for the content. Or how about an Online only option?

We will have to wait and see if this was a good or bad move on their part, in the end I'm thinking this will be for the better. Or at least hoping for the better.

I never liked paying anything for additional radios. Cable may cost more but they don't charge me per TV watched. I don't look at it as an additional $2/month per radio plus $3 per month for streaming. I look at it as $9 per month not spent on a second radio plus $3 not spent on a stream. That's $144 saved. That's not bad.

I think they'll see a lot of cancellations.

The only reason I keep XM around now is to have CNN & FNC and a couple of political talk channels while I drive.

The music is so lousy now I'd rather listen to my iPod.

It isn't like XM was back in the day when it was new and fresh and exciting. I used to just marvel at the music content on XM. Today, not so much.

Lee Abrams made the music content on satellite radio. When he left was the day I knew XM would sink to new lows. I thought it would take longer though.

This is stupid on many accounts.

Multi-radio accounts should be getting cheaper. People don't want to pay a ton for car and home. One set of ears shouldn't be penalized for having lots of radios. In fact, once you get someone with lots of radios, they won't leave. Good, long term revenue.

The stream cost is ok, if and only if all the channels now appear. Otherwise, it's yet another service lost since the merger.

The combination of the companies meant consolidation of music channels, improved infrastructure, etc., but it was not supposed to lead to the loss of channels overall, the loss of functionality, and the raising of prices.

This merger was sold on making more content available, more cheaply, and more readily to the customer.

Sirius, you're 0-for-3. No wonder you're 10c.

The StarPlayr app beats out Slacker for at work listening as far as I'm concerned. I would rather they focus on deactivating those who have not been paying and getting their account controls in place. If this is in fact not true, I really have no issue with what they are doing.

They should however, allow users to purchase the online version ONLY in advance. For some reason, my account insisted on per-month. Allow people to get it for 1-year, 2-year and lifetime ONLINE ONLY subs.

I cannot imagine my life without satellite radio. I use my Inno in the car, in a boombox at home and in an armband while biking and working out at the gym. I listen online while at work. I may be in the minority, but I still love the service post-merger.

I gave my daughter a Roady2 that she strictly uses in her car. While some have broken down the increase to $.50/wk, I pay annually, so my new bill for the second radio will be another $100+. Sorry to say, the second radio goes at subscription renewal time. I won't pay for online listening either. I've begun weaning myself off XM anyway with Slacker online.

Yeah, everything goes up. Unfortunately, my salary hasn't gone up enough to pay for all these increases so I have to cut back someplace. Whether it is lowering your thermostat or turning off your lights to cut your energy bill, or dropping movie channels from cable, people will find things to cut. For me it's my XM family plan. I think there are many subscribers that feel the same way.

Slacker destroys Sirius/XM in the music category. For the guy that can't get it to work in your car...thats teh first that I've heard of that. mine works fine. I love it.

As far as charging for internet, that sucks. Are they going to offer ALL stations on the internet now? Currently, only a subset of the stations are offered. I don't see me paying for a partial list of stations....

The only way they're not losing a subscription from me over this is if the Sirius and XM accounts are combined, as has been rumored. I have two radios on Sirius, and one on XM. Making two of those secondary radios might make it worth it for me to keep all of the subscriptions. Otherwise, it's just not worth it. XM is a shadow of its former self, anyway. The only reason I've kept it this long is for MLB, and I can probably live without that.

If I remember correctly, XM made subscribers pay for online service when it first came out, but when the price went from $9.95 to $12.95, they included it in the price. Perhaps that's the plan again: keep the regular service at $12.95 for now, then when they're allowed to by FCC rules, increase the price to $15.95 and throw in the online service.

I did not buy the online service when it originally came out; I seriously doubt I will buy it again this time.

I can pay for the online usage, but I want all the channels unlocked. Also, give me an application to run on my Blackberry that doesn't cripple an already crippled service.

I will cancel all 5 of my radios as will all my friends following such a price increase. People can barely afford their radio's as it is. Their greed will hurt them in the end.

Well since i used to be a Stern fan and a BUbba fan(nice 2yr deal huh)and they have both said on their shows "if you don't like it cancel" i think it is a great idea to raise rates since i mostly listen online anyway.Sorry but i think i will take their advice and cancel,Slacker,pandora and podcasts here i am!! The SatRad cheerleader will post after me and proclaim "it's far better than Fm!" or "I will never go back to regular radio!" I canceled and guess what I wont have to listen to fm either fuckwad,it's the 21st century!

I personally only have siri because of Howard Stern, I dont listen to anything else on it really. The time i really get to listen is all day at work at my desk via the internet. I am also a siri stockholder. An extra 3 bucks a month is not going to break anyones bank that already owns the product. I mean cmon people i bet most spend more than 3 bucks everyday on their coffee and breakfast. 3 bucks divided by 30 days is ten cents a day. This is not a major mark up here guys. For stockholders, in the long run if it can pump the stock price back up to normal who really cares about 3 bucks a month or ten cents a day.

As an iPhone user/lover, I am using slacker/pandora and havent really looked back. I need to remember to cancel tonight...

I was waiting for the SXM app, but now I will have to pay even more!

"As for existing rates going a whopping $2 - it's not the end of the world and won't break the bank. At least it shouldn't. If you need that $2 that badly then maybe you shouldn't be spending it on satellite radio."

It always has to be the "it's pennies a day" or "its only $2 argument"? nevermind the channels that have gotten cut and the increased number of single artist channels. nevermind the depth of the playlists that we had a few years ago. I don't need to go obscure by any means, but I want a little more than just the hits that were/are way overplayed on regular radio or MTV (back when the actually played music).

no, that whopping $2 won't break my bank, I could pay 8.99 plus tax for my other radio, but I will end up saving the 6.99 plus tax that we have been paying every month. The amount of time I have spent listening this past year has compared to other years has not justified the additional sub or the $2 increase.

Good Move.

No wonder there is no iPhone app. Well, I currently pay for 4 XM radios (main radio and three family) and one Sirius radio. This could be the end of the line for me. I love sat radio and I lobbied congress on their behalf in the merger, but then the XM playlist went to hell and now my yearly bill which is already over $500 is going up? Slacker may be my option, and that is sad...

What many people are not realizing is that this is a rate increase for everyone.

Sure the $12.99 rate is not going up, however by them removing the online listening feature and charing $3 a month for to me is a price increase no matter how you look at it.

Some Sirius folks have based me and said that the online listening was a free bonus, but as a long time XM customer the online services was INCLUDED AS PART OF YOUR SUBSCRIPTION.

To me Sirius XM is in violation with the agreement they made with the government to get the merger through and that was to freeze their rates for 3 years.

I would have no problem with what Sirius XM is doing if Sirius XM just included the Online streaming for the main radio on the account (the one you are paying $12.99 a month for) and charged extra for it on the family plan accounts.

But to take away a feature your paying for now only to charge you more to get the same feature back is just wrong.

I've listened to slacker and I'm not that impressed. It's ok, but it's nothing I would go over to exclusively. Especially since it doesn't have any live content like sports, News, and I need Bloomberg Radio for the Market. I thought at one time they were going to have a satellite connection, but that never materialized. So, it's still a limited device.

I will be dropping my additional radios from my subscription.

An extra Direct TV set up is only $4.99 a month.

I hope Sirius XM loses money because of these changes.

For those of us who have been with XM since 2001, it's hard to justify spending more for so much less. Sirius has gutted XM like a fish, and now they want me to pay more for shallow playlists and blathering DJs. I just cancelled two of four subs, and spend the majority of my listening time with Slacker. My G1 and iPhone app work great in the car.

$3/month for online so that I can stream it to my iPhone. Not worth it. Within a year or so, what is left of XM will be all but a memory. How sad...

This will not end well...

By RAISING my subscription rate, they will LOSE money on me as a customer.

I currently have 3 radios, and I listen on-line while at home. (I used to have 4, but couldn't justify the 4th radio after losing stations & sound quality sucking so bad lately.)

So if the rates go up, I will simply cancel my family plan radios and start carrying my mini-tuner back and forth.

So congratulations, Sirius. Instead of getting an extra few dollars from of me, you just LOST $84 a year. I'll also be selling 5 spare radios on EBay, further reducing your income, since those customers wont' be buying new radios from you (or your retailers.)

On the other hand, if Sirius were to reduce the family plan rates, I would have used it as an excuse to get an XMP3 and add it to my plan. That would have put more money in Sirius's pockets and given me something I liked.

As it is, I'm on the edge. The sound quality has gone to pot, and I'm having a hard time finding music I enjoy. (At least Cinemagic is back). This is NOT the time to be pissing their customers off any further.

The timing couldn't be worse. I would feel a lot better about this if they announced refinancing of all of the debt that is due in 2009 prior to the March date. I hope this isn't a ploy to lock in subs that might otherwise cancel if bankruptcy were to be filed.

Great...I get to pay more money for less music (than I got with XM). Consider me cancelled.

If the programming had remained similar after the merger, I'd have no issue with the increase. Instead we get playlists slashed by 90%.(Example: 80's On 8 playlist went from 3000 songs to 300.)

For someone who subscribed primarily for music, (and doesn't want to hear the same songs over and over), SiriusXM is no longer a good value, even at the old price.

I have two radios....one for the home and one for the car....the reason for that is because there are several channels I can't get online, including baseball games (the big reason I signed up for XM in the first place). To me, this is a no-brainer. The company needs money and the stock price is at an all-time low. I'll be glad to pay more money if it means a better product and a higher stock price....and both will occur in time. Right now, the main focus of the company should be to get out of debt....period.

I'm fine with the $2 increase with secondary subs. The problem I do have though is owning their $300 unsupported Stiletto which I will now have to pay more money to enjoy the radio's best feature, wifi. That is a bad move for Sirius.

Well, yesterday I canceled the "Best of XM" on my Sirius account.. I spent a total of 2 hours listening to various shows from XM and it did nothing for me. I will not listen to baseball, Oprah, or O&A.... So what the heck do I need the Best of XM for??

Today I already got the 3 calls/day from Sirius trying to turn on old radios and give the "Best of XM" another try. I told the guy when rates go up for my second sub, I will cancel my factory OEM unit and use my car kit for my Stiletto 2...

I told the Sirius rep I thought a rate increase will push more people away... Sirius XM agreed to a price freeze for three years.

HE agreed!

I think this company as we know it is doomed....

Satellite tv may raise rates and people will pay, because the alternative is 4 to 6 local broadcast stations. But with satrad, this will scare many listeners away who can get plenty of free media. I don't see their reasoning. They'll gain a buck but then lose it by people leaving satellite.

Well here is what I think:

Price increase for multiple radios, fine it's still a great savings over having to pay another 12.95 fee to have 2 or more radios.

Online increase: I don't like it. Instead, I think the smart thing would be to offer the MUSIC selection of XM for free to all subscribers. THEN offer an online subscription for $3 extra that includes ALL 170 channels(or as many that is allowed by contract). That way the premium content that XM has to pay for to broadcast online is supplemented with the $3 extra fee.

That would really be a WIN/WIN situation, XM online listeners would have the option to either listen to MUSIC free, or pay $3 extra to have premium online channels. Sirius|XM would win with the extra revenue (and no ticked off customers)

Very strange, I've never heard anyone talking about slacker radio other than the people on this website. So I assume that slackers demographic is younger computer savvy people, probably people who download music from limewire and stuff like that.

Sattelite radio's demographic spans way past this demographic, so Slacker really poses no threat at this point or any point in the near future.

There are way more people in the world that can choose to afford Sirius|XM radio than who choose the inconvenience of other ways to listen to music.

So two Sirius|XM subcriptions AND online listening would be 24.93 and I have the convenience of 170 channels, coast to coast coverage with no commercials on the music programming. Plus LoADS of programming that isn't available anywhere else.

I choose to afford satellite radio.

Heck, I've spent $25 dollars on lunch before.

i'm unique in that this price increase does not affect me in the slightest. i'm a lifer on sirius so price increases for the regular service only speeds up my break-even date and because i'm a lifer, i get free internet audio.

but had i not been a lifetime subscriber, the only thing i would be forced to do would be to buy the sl2 antennae headphones. i own a stiletto 100. i get no reception in my house and i do not want to stick those daggers in my ear, so i am almost forced to listen online at home. $3 is too much to offer for online listening when i can find the stuff i listen to from other sources. sucks for listening to college games and nhl games though since they don't air online.

i believe that satellite radio is the future of radio as exampled by the degradation of local radio and the near universal uniformity of what's aired (music and talk). i have no problem at all with the price increase. i justify that just by looking around me. cable increases prices every other month. satellite tv every other year. cell phones with internet plans and their ability to play mp3 and wma based webstreams. and these services are high. if a cable or satellite company could get away with increasing its rates for so long, its only a testament to satellite radio that they kept their rates as low as they did for so long.

Well, reading these comments, about everyone canceling and going to Slacker or Iphone-wifi, etc. one thing is certain-

Mel was right all along that there was (and is) plenty of competition to sat. radio. I mean, look, they raised rates, and you all are moving onto another product. Kinda makes the price freeze on the first unit unnecessary, don't you think?

There weren't enough people who wanted to pay the rates as they are right now for this company to avoid a potential bk. Why now do they think this will raise the demand for their product? My opinion is that this is a last ditch effort to stave off the inevitable bk. Radio just isn't something people are willing to pay for yet. Chances are most of the Stern/O&A/Bubba fans are all onboard by now. I could see wanting every MLB game but there is no use for it with the NFL or NBA. Would you rather watch the Super Bowl or hear it? Too bad sat radio once had a great upside that will go unrealized.

I don't mind the price being raised, as long as it is commensurate with the programming/services QUALITY being raised accordingly. A very simple precept; offer less - charge less, but if you are going to charge more, then you damn well better offer more!

I want to see this company survive in the worst way. I'm no expert in most matters, but I do feel that my intuition is pretty good. I would suggest to Sirius/Xm that if they are going to charge more for the product and the service, then it would behoove them to GIVE MORE. Nothing monumental, and nothing beyond the realm of possibility; bring back several of the XM channels that people are screaming for, restore both services programming to the quality that it was pre merger, and get rid of the terrestrial style, annoy the shit out of people CHIT CHAT that spews from the mouths of lame DJ's like so much projectile diarrhea. In other words, tweak things a little so as to make the listeners a lot happier.

Just a couple of years ago, satellite radio was so good that it was, to myself and many other people, simply irresistible. I was mesmerized by it. It made me realize that terrestrial radio was unacceptable, and I really believed that it was the future of radio. The subsequent series of events that have stalled satellite radios growth - the digraceful merger delay, the corrupt agenda of the NAB, the complete incompetence of the DOJ and the FCC, and the collapse of the economy were all things that management could not foresee, let alone control.

The things that management can control, like maintaining the quality of the content, commitment to the subscribers and customer service, and proper marketing of the product..... are all essential, basic business practices that this company seems incapable of accomplishing. They seem to alienate the subscribers at every turn, almost as if they have some evil agenda to piss off people for the sport of it. It is really uncanny how many times they don't please the listeners!

I still believe that the best content wins, and if the content is really fantastic and appeals to the subscribers, then people will sign up in droves. It wouldn't take much to make satellite radio irresistible again - since the merger they have only made it more resistible.

These people who are running this company have their heads up their asses, and they are oblivious to even the most obvious ideas on how to improve their chances for survival. So far, they have tried everything - everything but COMMON SENSE !!!

F Mel in his monopoly-hole that's what!

Less content and higher cost for the merger. Of course if you crap on the customers and they still come back, you can jack the price up. The people who like the merged content probably will pay more. The On-line service is relative crap and people who use it now probably would pay more for it.

SIRIUS/xm is expecting a premium price for the FM-isation of thier product. The best contrast I could think regarding both services shortly after I signed up in 04 was this...Sirius is like FM radio without commercials. XM is for those who like to go a little deeper in their music tastes---and that was noticeable just doing online trials. Unfortunately, with this merger, XM is no more...we for the most part have Sirius. I remember vividly hearing tracks from CD's that I would never have heard on terrestrial. Now that is gone--i even listened to xm's music for the first time in over a month or so and everything I heard, I could turn on FM and would probably hear the same, and can anyone honestly tell me that they would take Lithiums polished FM-like sweepers (Lithium-welcome to paradiiise) over the quirky little sweepers that we had on Lucy?
It is not worth the cost of an extra subscription.

Unfortunately, there will be the people who feel Sirius can do no wrong...They sit back and say that they don't mind the programming changes, that it's only $2 a month and is still a great value..but when you compare the quality of the product we were getting even 2 years ago to what we have gotten over the past year it isn't worth a price increase, and the price hike has resulted in them getting less money from us and other people.

I just wonder when people cancel any extra radios t hey have because the convenience of multiple radios isn't worth the extra price, will that extra $2 (that is if people don't lock in their price)make up for all the $6.99 subs they are losing out on in a month.

It's no wonder people are talking so much about satellite radio
these days. Karamazin promised that the company would not
become a monopoly and raise prices to its subscribers. Obviously
that was a lie.

I wrote an article about the demise of satellite radio that I invite
all of you to read...

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/satellite


No , No this is not the way Sirius/XM Radio needs to do bussness. 1st off MLB Home Plate XM 175 used to be my favortie channel on XM. But since the merger the have messed up with the programming and have tryed to make MLB Home Plate much like Sirius NFL Radio with a hole bunch of sports talk radio guys and hardly anybuddy that knows a lot about baseball. If I want to listen to the channel I want to hear baseball talk not polictical talk if I want that I will listen to my local radio station or watch the local news. And now they want to raise prices? This company is going down hill. Blame the economy all you want but the quallity of programs on Sirius/XM radio is just not their since the merger took place in my opinion.

Ryan,
I hope Sirius XM reads this, because you are dead on.

I am not rich, but I do very well for myself. I still have a hard time justifying my 12.95/month as it is. I justify it because I use online quite a bit at home.
I really could care less about an extra $2 a month. For many, this is the final straw.

If the economy wasn't in such a stinkhole now, it might be more palatable, but this is just smacking of desperation.

Slacker crashes in the car? Are you a f*cking idiot? Seriously? I got a good FM transmitter and hooked my Slacker up and it sounds a lot better than satrad and the music playlist is a ton deeper. This will probably push me over the edge and I will cancel one of my subs.

The best part is that SLACKER IS FREE. FREE.

Anybody know how the online will work? Will you automatically have it and be billed for it unless you opt out? Or will you have to call to have it activated? Either way it seems like it would be a nightmare for the customer service reps.

Really, a price hike isn't surprising. This is what happens when you allow a monopoly.

25 dollars a month? Your a little crazy with that remark. Also the online quality of xm is so shitty I'd be jumping for joy on this news if I were you guys.

WHY THE PRICING PLAN WILL WORK PLEASE READ

Typically, satellite radio has seen about 20% of their self paying subscriber base in the Family Plan category. Thus, out of 20 mil. subscribers, there are 4 mil. that would fit into this category and those 4 mil. delivered about $28 mil. in revenue each month. If we were to assume that the price increase would cause a 10% drop (a high estimate in my opinion) in the existing Family Plans, we would see 3.6 mil. Family Plan subs left, each paying $2 more than they were. The price increase would effectively give a $4.4 mil. per month raise to the revenue line of Sirius XM, bringing revenue to $32.4 mil. The fact of the matter is that it would take a subscriber drop of over 20% to make the move a net negative. That kind of backlash simply is unlikely.

Meanwhile, the company is also going to charge for the Internet feed of the service. The $3 per month charge means that subscribers will no longer get to listen over the net unless they pay. This move makes devices like the Logitech Squeezebox, which uses the Internet feed, become a $3 per month device rather than free as in the past. Royalties for on-line listening are higher, so the company will be able to offset some costs, but in real terms, the take rate on the Internet feed may be more than what people initially think. If we assume that 4 million subscribers take up the added cost, then that represents $12 million more in revenue each month.

Combine these two increases, and the company will be seeing an additional $16.4 million in revenue each month. While this may not seem tremendous, it is is nearly $200 million per year added to the coffers. The other item to consider is the cash infusion that will happen for subscribers that will pay early to lock in the lower rates. People look for value. When XM satellite radio did a price increase from $9.99 to $12.95, they allowed subscribers to pay ahead to lock in the lower rate. The response was measurable, and the cash on hand for the company increased. For Sirius XM, with various debt issues, additional cash is a good thing. The company will be getting $7 per month more from my account:

EXISTING ACCOUNT

Main Subscription with Best Of XM - $15.95
Second Subscription —————-$6.99
Third Subscription —————— $6.99
TOTAL—————$29.93

NEW PRICING

Main Subscription with Best Of and Internet - $18.95
Second Subscription ————————–$8.99
Third Subscription —————————-$8.99
TOTAL———————-$36.93

The bottom line is that this move by Sirius XM helps the bottom line, and helps the health of the company. It allows the business model to be modified so that the company will appear more attractive not only to potential lenders, but to the street as well. Metrics such as ARPU will see a positive bump. From my own account, I will be paying $7, or $2.33 per account, per moth more than I once was if I opt for the Internet feed. The price increase helps add revenue (and deferred revenue), helps defray costs, and is not so offensive that it will spurn mass cancellations. From a business perspective, this is a positive move for the company.

I agree with many of the comments. I was pretty upset last November and tried Slacker and Pandora with others, but still found that for me XM is better than the on-line alternatives. My office is perfect for sat reception and I listen ALL DAY LONG. I've never even tried to use the on-line XM, no need for me. But I sure wouldn't pay for it! If I couldn't use my plug and play at work, I'd use Slacker and Pandora. As for the price hike, we have 7 subs and I thought immediately about cutting the 3 subs for in dash car units and just use the two SkyFi's, MyFi, and new XMP3 we have, and use all the time anyway. My wife likes the convenience of the in dash radios, I like the better displays on the plug and plays. She's talking about the prepay sub option but we'll see what happens when we "get the word" on the prices. Also love Orbitcast when my Google reader 'found it'!

You forgot one thing, what will the price do for new subscription growth? Sat rad used to be real concerned about that. Basicly, they are admitting that subcriber growth has subsided and they can blame the economy for it, even though jacking the price up will not help subcriber growth. The only avenue left is to jack the current subscibers.

Maybe this isn't new revenue at all, it's funds used to pay people to not cancel, which is what they offered me. I told them that it's not the money, it's the reduced content on XM. I gave them a break and said I would wait to see what happens before my long term contract runs out in 010. So if threaten to cancel because of higher rates, they will grandfather them, but just not advertise it like I am now.

It doesn't cost even close to 200 million dollars to supply the content which missing.

Indeed, on the surface the economics of any price increase are simple: The company charges more, all but a small percentage of customers fall into line and pay more, and the company makes more money.

But beyond that, I question the data you're presenting. For instance, when you say out of 20 million subscribers that four million fit into the "family plan category," does that mean there are four million radios on family plans -- or four million customers on family plans. Because if it's the latter, you may be talking about far more than four million radios, because many customers have three, four or five radios activated.

As far as how many may cancel, you're offering speculation, whether your own or that of someone else. I agree that in most cases people do not cancel over a price increase, but if cancellations approach 20 percent, the economics become questionable, as each canceled radio results in a 3.5 times as much revenue lost as is gained from each retained radio.

I think there would have been better ways to raise revenue or save money -- and foremost among these would be greater "mining" of the existing customer base to get them up to five (or more) radios. Anyone who's ever done business knows the current customer is your best source of new business. Advertising targeted to existing customers is hundreds of percent more effective than ads targeted to the non-customers. Instead of slapping their best customers with higher fees, they should be offering a five-radio package plan that gives a discount for maxxing out one's account. But no, instead they roll out a plan that will, without any doubt, reduce the average number of radios per account. Good thinking.

Also, if they want to charge for online, fine, but offer something extra -- like bringing some XM channels back that they've replaced with Sirius channels since the merger. Make it win-win.

Bottom line: It ain't the two bucks. It's the stupidity and disdain for customers that are this company's real problems. The two bucks is just another example.

I've been a loyal Sirius subscribers for more than five years now, but when this quarter's subscription is up, I'm canceling.

I'm a shareholder and long-time fan, way before Stern ever showed up, when there were less than 200k subscribers. I was thrilled that Stern came to Sirius, but the the quality of his show has gone off a cliff the past year. The playlists on the channels are horrid now. It's like terrestrial with the same songs played over and over.

I've long used Live365 online, but now have been using Slacker Radio through my iPhone in the car. For $3.99 a month, you have no ads, can skip through songs, and have superior audio quality. One of my issues as an audiophile are the compression issues that still plague the service. Go through the Sirius channels, you'll hear varying clarity, bass, treble, etc.

Now my decent number of shares in the company are virtually worthless at 10 cents a share, the content is stale. So, even though $2.00 a unit might not be a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, I clearly feel that I'm getting less of a product than just a few years ago.

Heh, SiriusXm raise their rates and Slacker lowers theirs. People on the fence, give slacker a try. The basic service is free. If you want unlimited skips, its 3.99/mo.

As cranky as I am about price hikes on anything...
I'm gonna eat the costs, keep my account as is, listen to O&A and use Slacker for music, cuz I'm not a BUMMM.
However, if O&A go, it's over Johnny.

I travel a lot. Can I get slacker in my truck and can I listed to Howard Stern and sports on slacker?

Sirius will not survive 2009. Ive been drinking the cool-aid for 3 years and now I cannot convince myself anymore that this is a doomed company.

They are making the worst possible decisions, the stock price is nearing zero and they have billions of debt.

theres no way siriusXM can last through this year

Great point Shark! How many $12.95 subs will SIRI lose versus the new $3 online fees. I am mainly upset with the online fee due to Sirius vs XM sat reception in my area. Everyone all over my office can get a sat connection on their XM radios but not one Sirius radio gets a signal. Whatever the issues are, the reception for Sirius and XM should be the same in each market.

So, I am stuck using the online at work, which in my case there are two online Sirius customers versus four sat reception XM customers. This is now an issue affecting one customer over another in this market.

Besides existing customers, SIRI should have additional ways to get additional revenue from existing advertisers on the HSS such as their beer and 3rd party online advertisers which have been with them for a long time. HSS charged one of the highest rates in terrestrial. Why not raise ad rates on sat which has limited commercials on talk stations when they have their bathroom breaks.

Instead of looking for additional revenue and listeners elsewhere, some MBA bean counter that is now probably laid off came up with this wonderful online idea with a beautiful spreadsheet for Mel. Let’s cannibalize (not mining as Xcountry suggests) our customers, as SIRI will only lose #X subs from cancellation, but we’ll get net $X more per month from the remaining. And like all other bean counter marketing ideas at SIRI, this online fee will have an opposite effect, just like cutting playlists.

Dannyice, hopefully Mel will stop with your all is rosy MBA logic. Mel will leverage that extra “new” revenue to probably create a huge parachute for himself and have the company that much closer to a BK and generate a negative Net ARPU. Raising “new” revenue is probably the only way banks have told him he can get more loans. Most likely the next MBA in their Monday morning brainstorm meeting will suggest to Marketing/Retentions to allow free online two weeks after an effective cancellation, instead of three free sub months. SIRI needs to retain loyal listening customers at more $ instead of worrying about less customers with a higher ARPU and less $.

Great point Shark! How many $12.95 subs will SIRI lose versus the new $3 online fees. I am mainly upset with the online fee due to Sirius vs XM sat reception in my area. Everyone all over my office can get a sat connection on their XM radios but not one Sirius radio gets a signal. Whatever the issues are, the reception for Sirius and XM should be the same in each market.

So, I am stuck using the online at work, which in my case there are two online Sirius customers versus four sat reception XM customers. This is now an issue affecting one customer over another in this market.

Besides existing customers, SIRI should have additional ways to get additional revenue from existing advertisers on the HSS such as their beer and 3rd party online advertisers which have been with them for a long time. HSS charged one of the highest rates in terrestrial. Why not charge a super ad premium on sat which has limited commercials on talk stations when they have their bathroom breaks, which will be alot of $3.

Instead of looking for additional revenue and listeners elsewhere, some MBA bean counter that is now probably laid off came up with this wonderful online idea with a beautiful spreadsheet for Mel. Let’s cannibalize (not mining as Xcountry suggests) our customers, as SIRI will only lose #X subs from cancellation, but we’ll get net $X more per month from the remaining. And like all other MBA bean counter deas at SIRI, this online fee will have an opposite effect, such as cutting playlists.

Dannyice, hopefully Mel will stop with your all is rosy unit profit MBA logic. Most likely, Mel will leverage that extra “new” revenue to probably create a huge parachute for himself, have the company that much closer to a BK, and generate a negative Net ARPU. Raising “new” revenue is probably the only way banks have told him he can get more loans. The next MBA in their Monday morning brainstorm meeting will suggest to Marketing/Retentions to allow free online two weeks after an effective cancellation to entice old customers to come back as a “new” customer to better some other metric, instead of offering them free sub months. SIRI must get out of the micromanaging games and just sell sat radio for the product it is which by itself will retain loyal listening customers. There would be more overall $ and less worry about a higher ARPU with less customers and less overall $. SIRI is not a cell phone company where too many users can hurt network performance where there is a need to micromanage ARPU. Sat needs as many ears as possible if we want it to stay around.

Great point Shark! How many $12.95 subs will SIRI lose versus the new $3 online fees. I am mainly upset with the online fee due to Sirius vs XM sat reception in my area. Everyone all over my office can get a sat connection on their XM radios but not one Sirius radio gets a signal. Whatever the issues are, the reception for Sirius and XM should be the same in each market.

So, I am stuck using the online at work, which in my case there are two online Sirius customers versus four sat reception XM customers. This is now an issue affecting one customer over another in this market.

Besides existing customers, SIRI should have additional ways to get additional revenue from existing advertisers on the HSS such as their beer and 3rd party online advertisers which have been with them for a long time. HSS charged one of the highest rates in terrestrial. Why not charge a super ad premium on sat which has limited commercials on talk stations when they have their bathroom breaks, which will be alot of $3.

Instead of looking for additional revenue and listeners elsewhere, some MBA bean counter that is now probably laid off came up with this wonderful online idea with a beautiful spreadsheet for Mel. Let’s cannibalize (not mining as Xcountry suggests) our customers, as SIRI will only lose #X subs from cancellation, but we’ll get net $X more per month from the remaining. And like all other MBA bean counter deas at SIRI, this online fee will have an opposite effect, such as cutting playlists.

Dannyice, hopefully Mel will stop with your all is rosy unit profit MBA logic. Most likely, Mel will leverage that extra “new” revenue to probably create a huge parachute for himself, have the company that much closer to a BK, and generate a negative Net ARPU. Raising “new” revenue is probably the only way banks have told him he can get more loans. The next MBA in their Monday morning brainstorm meeting will suggest to Marketing/Retentions to allow free online two weeks after an effective cancellation to entice old customers to come back as a “new” customer to better some other metric, instead of offering them free sub months. SIRI must get out of the micromanaging games and just sell sat radio for the product it is which by itself will retain loyal listening customers. There would be more overall $ and less worry about a higher ARPU with less customers and less overall $. SIRI is not a cell phone company where too many users can hurt network performance where there is a need to micromanage ARPU. Sat needs as many ears as possible if we want it to stay around.

Great point Shark! How many $12.95 subs will SIRI lose versus the new $3 online fees. I am mainly upset with the online fee due to Sirius vs XM sat reception in my area. Everyone all over my office can get a sat connection on their XM radios but not one Sirius radio gets a signal. Whatever the issues are, the reception for Sirius and XM should be the same in each market.

So, I am stuck using the online at work, which in my case there are two online Sirius customers versus four sat reception XM customers. This is now an issue affecting one customer over another in this market.

Besides existing customers, SIRI should have additional ways to get additional revenue from existing advertisers on the HSS such as their beer and 3rd party online advertisers which have been with them for a long time. HSS charged one of the highest rates in terrestrial. Why not charge a super ad premium on sat which has limited commercials on talk stations when they have their bathroom breaks, which will be alot of $3.

Instead of looking for additional revenue and listeners elsewhere, some MBA bean counter that is now probably laid off came up with this wonderful online idea with a beautiful spreadsheet for Mel. Let’s cannibalize (not mining as Xcountry suggests) our customers, as SIRI will only lose #X subs from cancellation, but we’ll get net $X more per month from the remaining. And like all other MBA bean counter deas at SIRI, this online fee will have an opposite effect, such as cutting playlists.

Dannyice, hopefully Mel will stop with your all is rosy unit profit MBA logic. Most likely, Mel will leverage that extra “new” revenue to probably create a huge parachute for himself, have the company that much closer to a BK, and generate a negative Net ARPU. Raising “new” revenue is probably the only way banks have told him he can get more loans. The next MBA in their Monday morning brainstorm meeting will suggest to Marketing/Retentions to allow free online two weeks after an effective cancellation to entice old customers to come back as a “new” customer to better some other metric, instead of offering them free sub months. SIRI must get out of the micromanaging games and just sell sat radio for the product it is which by itself will retain loyal listening customers. There would be more overall $ and less worry about a higher ARPU with less customers and less overall $. SIRI is not a cell phone company where too many users can hurt network performance where there is a need to micromanage ARPU. Sat needs as many ears as possible if we want it to stay around.

every post can be summed up like this:

mels fault

howards fault

im cancelling(and you wont..enjoy FM!!!)

its 2 fucking dollars!sirius hasnt jumped there prices in 5-6 years

do i hear any of you whining,sand in the vag, cunts, bitch about internet fees that have gone up in that same time frame that you use to make these bitching posts?of course not!

stop bitching and cancel,and when you listen to the same 10 shitty teenage songs,overextended commercials,morning zoo hack dj's like O&A on FM(oh wait nevermind)..you bitchs will sign right back up

"Sirius will not survive 2009. I've been drinking the cool-aid for 3 years and now I cannot convince myself anymore that this is a doomed company."

I think, jord3t, that you need to read this carefully! What you wrote is not quite what you meant, I suspect. Are you sure that was cool-aid that you were drinking?

Because the basic rate includes online access (at least for the XM side), adding a charge for it is an increase and thus violates the 3-year freeze on the base rate.

It's time for subscribers to contact the DOJ and FCC about this. With a consumer-friendly administration in place now we may actually get some action.

True - the fee for the same services will go from $12.95 to $15.94.

But I'm betting they've already run this one by the legal department and have concluded that the letter of their agreement allows them to cut services without it being construed as a price increase.

Damn, what a boon to consumers this merger has been.

"stop bitching and cancel,and when you listen to the same 10 shitty teenage songs,overextended commercials,morning zoo hack dj's ..."


Wait..that IS Sirius!

Repetetive playlists. Noisy, disruptive DJs on the decades channels
and a MORNING ZOO just added on "20 on 20"

My God! Sirius is just as bad as FM radio and they want to charge
more for it.

Man, do I miss XM!

what about subs who have a built in wi-fi radio?....shouldn't that be a violation since its part of our radio and not like logging on a PC?

I've been a long time customer and am also a stock holder (which at one time was worth something $10k but is now down to 300 bucks). The $3/month online fee is really a bad move. I understand the need to increase revenue but piling on with your existing customers is going to lead to significant drops in subscriptions. I for one will cancel my account over this if goes into action. The fact is that I, like so many I know, listen more online than in my car. My iPod has much better music suited just for me so I'll go that route. Yes, I'll miss Howard and CNBC but at this price point with the new increase - HowardTV is probably cheaper and a better product. CNBC is already free on my TV.

As the rates go up, the content inches ever more closely to resembling terrestrial radio. I went to The Pulse (Sirius/channel 12) and I had to do a double take - I could have sworn that I accidently hit a button on my rarely used AM/FM tuner, and switched off of satellite. Some unfunny, desperate for attention DJ was going on and on about that fat whore Mariah Carey. He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, and I thought to myself; "I'm paying to hear this shit?"

Wasn't the whole idea of satellite radio to offer the listener an alternative to dreadful, annoying AM/FM? Am I missing something here?

After several minutes of this dissertation on Mariah, I went to my trusty pre-sets, in search of music - and ONLY MUSIC!!!

Mr. Karmazin, let me tell you something; charging more for less is a sure fire way to put the final dagger in this company that you are destroying. If you ever want to reverse the downward death spiral that you have helped create, you better start offering more for less.

You will be rewarded by way of millions of new subscribers who won't be able to resist a bargain. Did you ever see the boatloads of shit that people walk out of the Dollar store with? Yeah Mel, I'm still talking to you - so listen up! These slobs go into a smelly, filthy store and grab all kinds of crap. Most of it they don't even need!

Sirius/XM has a great product that is slowly eroding into something ordinary. All they have to do is apply the basic principle of offering so much "bang for the buck" that people will be hard pressed to turn it down. The way they are approaching their problems is irritating the hell out of the subscribers, and increasing cancellations.

Restore the content - No talking - $12.95 for EVERYTHING
Restore the content - No talking - $12.95 for EVERYTHING
Restore the content - No talking - $12.95 for EVERYTHING

They took a product and a service that should have had "Can't miss" all over it, and have done everthing in their power to screw it up! People are tired of bullshit. They are tired of complications. They are tired of getting less for their money day after day, week after week.

The management of this company better think real fast, and they better radically change their attitudes about the way they do business- their attitudes towards the subscribers. If they don't, their own greed and stupidity will be what killed satellite radio!

I thought there was a price freeze for 3 years..
Mel said not to worry..prices will remain the same..sirius/xm the monopoly begins!!!!!!!!!

I'm relatively new to the service, (Sirius - signed up last summer) so I don't have a sense of what's been lost.

Does anyone know whether the monthly online charge will provide the higher quality feed? I already pay $2.99 a month for better sound, and would be unhappy to learn my $2.99 is henceforth only buying the basic service.

I think Dannyice's numbers make sense, as far as they go. However, the problem, as other posters point out, is what an increase in multi-unit rates will do to the ability to upsell going forward.

For example, I'm a long time Tivo subscriber, and had as many as five units subscribed at one point.

But as the multi-unit rate was upped, and as terms of keeping the rate down got worse (I had to agree to a long term subscription) I dropped several subs.

My guess is there are sharp dividing lines between people who have one unit, people with two units and people with three or more.

I doubt the increase will stop anyone with one unit from adding a second; it's the whole car-home or car-office thing, and is just practical.

However, people in the three or more category are the people most likely to be fans, to have belonged for a long time and to have strong opinions about the changes - I'd guess that you'll see more reluctance to add units and less reluctance to shave off existing units.

Also, when the price point approaches $10, it feels like less of an impulse purchase.

Scott Atkinson
Watertown NY

Ronald Epstein and Steve_O, well said.

Karmazin and company flat out refuse to believe that subscribers want something besides the worn out "in your face" radio style that made some stations popular in the 1980s.

...and now we get to pay MORE for it? No, I won't be doing that.

xcounrty - amen, brother; I won't be doing it either!

Just think about the audacity these people (management) have - they lie to all of us continually, they promise that the merger will be a radio lovers paradise, and then they proceed to stab us in the back with each new announcement. That's if we are lucky enough to get any announcements - more often then not, we lowly pee ons don't even rate the common courtesy of being told in advance about the companies decisions. They just spring things on us; they are not only insensitive and arrogant, but they have no manners.

I never would have invested in satellite radio if I had seen this train wreck coming - that goes without saying - though I said it anyway.They have compromised the content, and they get more "in your face" each day with the, as Ronald Epstein noted, disruptive DJ's and morning zoo format bullshit.

They are giving us the very thing that drove us away from terrestrial radio in the first place! I question the sanity of Karmazin, because what he is doing is irrational and illogical to say the least. I still listen to sirius/Xm every day, and in fact am listening to it at this very moment. It is still good, but it was better. With a little tweaking by someone with half a brain in their head, it could be GREAT.

Karmazin and company are clueless about what the listeners want, even though we tell them what we want! It is nothing less than the total betrayal of millions of loyal, paying subscribers. If they brought in Bozo The Clown to run this company, it would be a huge improvement. I have zero faith in the current management of Sirius/XM. Pay for terrestrial style radio? Hell will freeze over before I do that!!!

So when is SiriusXM going to inform me of these rate changes? Wait, they never informed me of the channel lineup changes, never mind.

Herb Tarlek - for them to inform you about the rate changes, they would actually have to care enough to extend you this common courtesy. Don't hold your breath !

Steve_O, it seems that frequently when someone's or a group's actions are unintelligible, it's because some or all of their motivations are hidden from view.

In this case, Sirius XM management shows abject disrespect for more than half of their customers -- those from XM -- and pursues an about-face in programming that literally eliminates much of the reason people had to subscribe to satellite radio. And, looking at the demographics of satellite radio subscribers, which are older, more sophisticated, and in possession of more disposable income than the general population, this makes even less sense.

So, what is the motivation? I offer some possibilities:

1. Throw away a big chunk of existing subscribers to chase a group of new subscribers -- presumably those with more mainstream, mundane tastes than current XM subscribers. This may not be as crazy as it sounds, for they may have decided that there aren't enough more sophisticated listeners to keep them afloat.
2. Create a case for a switch to a new business model -- possibly an ad-supported, low-fee or free service, which would probably be sold off to and run by Clear Channel or some other terrestrial broadcasting conglomerate.
3. Improve short-term income enough that current execs can take golden parachutes and walk away from the whole mess.
4. Add more talk on the music channels, including chatty DJs and spots for other XM channels and events, so it won't be so shocking when they put ads on a lot more music channels.

Any other ideas?

With the economy in the way it is people can't tolerate an increase in the cost of anything, let alone the radio. I saw a person that commented on the iTunes store, Talk Radio app. He turned off his satellite radio subscription off after finding his iPhone can do what his satellite radio did.

xcountry - all of your theories are solid, and not beyond the realm of posibility. I don't see the under 30 (years old) demographic ever being lured to satellite radio unless it's free; they get their music for free off the internet, so there's no way they are going to ante up the money for satellite. They think that people who pay for radio are suckers, regardless of whether it's better than terrestrial.

Although the content has been weakened, they still have exclusive and superior programming that would be hard to duplicate elsewhere. At the rate they are diluting content, this may not be true in the not so distant future.

I think the business model will have to change to ad supported/free as an option to, or in addition to being strictly a pay service. There are potential listeners out there who won't pay for the service, but would be of value to advertisers.

They will, at some point, have to find other ways to distribute their content; I think that it is inevitable that they will want to, have to license content to wireless providers, Direct TV, and every channel of distribution that they possibly can think of. In the home, if you are not listening on line, getting decent reception can be a challenge. People do not want to go through a hassle to hear, or watch anything!

Mel is a salesman, pure and simple. At this point, I'm sure he would love to make a deal to sell; the whole thing is probably an albatross to him at this point. Have you seen him lately? He ain't looking so healthy. I have always felt that selling the company was his ultimate goal. He's all about the deal - I don't think he has a love affair with satellite radio to speak of.

I didn't add too much in the way of original ideas; I think yours are all
feasible. I feel that they DO have ulterior motives which have not, and will not be divulged to the general public. Somethings brewing, xcountry, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are folding and packing the parachutes as we speak. Nothing they do seems to be of any benefit for the long term success of this company. We already know that they care very little about the subscribers, and I question all of their intentions and motivations.

I know they have had a lot of adversity to contend with, but they have created as much or more adversity than they inherited. This bunch of characters who are ruining... I mean running this company seem to be dubious, disreputable types. I have a feeling they are going to do something soon - I also have a feeling it's going to make me sick when I find out what it is!

Less costly content would suit me just fine. You look at the XM channels they've axed, such as X Country, Squizz, Fred, Lucy, Ethel, and the ones they've screwed up, like 70s on 7, 20 on 20, The Pulse. In many cases, it would seem the XM way of running these channels was less costly, with essentially automated delivery of content, voice-tracked DJs that didn't say too much. They just played the music people wanted, and that's why we paid our subscription fees.

I know there are Sirius people out there who prefer their channels -- which is great. I looked at both and picked XM because that's what I wanted. What, exactly, is the advantage of making these services identical? Isn't it better to have two products to sell, so you address two groups of potential listeners? It's not like they're going to be able to go with one platform anytime soon, considering the millions of OEM units installed in cars.

I think a lot of this amounts to a pissing match - the Sirius people now in charge are so convinced of the rightness of their ideas that they want to bring the whole service to their way of doing radio. Mel is reported to have said he just couldn't understand all the uproar over the destruction (or as they said, "merging") of so many of XM's channels. If he's serious, then he really just doesn't get it. We signed up for this service because we liked what was being offered -- not just because there were X number of music channels.

Steve O and xcountry both have excellent reads.

I personally met with Sirius management back in 2005. At the
time I was a Sirius subscriber and was a very vocal complainer on the internet about the way they were running their music channels. Since I ran a large website and Sirius thought I was giving them bad press, they invited me to their studios.

The management team were very nice. However, despite my pleas to widen the playlists and get rid of the obnoxious DJ banter, they were insistent that their music consultants concluded that people wanted only to hear familiar music on their channels. They used the analogy that when subscribers get in their car for short commutes, they don't want to hear unfamiliar music.

Opie and Anthony have always been vocal about how music consultants have ruined radio. Look at what they did to FM radio. Nobody likes it. Well, Sirius used the same dolts to program their station. In fact, the management that runs Sirius are all people who came out of the FM industry.

I wrote a story about the decline of satellite radio earlier this week. I referenced it above but I will include it here one last time...

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/satellite

Satellite radio needs to reinvent itself if it is to survive.

They need to become a quality music delivery service. To do this, they need to get rid of DJs on the music channels and concentrate on delivering just the music. They also need to expand their playlists so when you listen to the '70s or '90s channel you hear gems that you haven't heard in years.

Sirius also needs to take all the bandwidth that they own and use it to broadcast CD quality music. I realize there may be problems with broadcasting it to two different compatible radios, and perhaps some concerns from the music industry about people recording CD quality music off the service --- but it is the only way that you are going to attract people who prefer to listen to CDs or iPods in their car or home. The quality of the music on Sirius is so sh*tty that FM radio actually sounds better.

What Sirius is offering is paid FM programming. Why would people want to pay $13 a month for what they can get on FM? The only people that are benefiting from satellite radio in its current state are those in rural areas that cannot get FM reception and those that want the talk and/or sports programming.

Now Sirius is raising the rates on additional radios and online streaming. This is a direct consequence of a merger that all of us feared would not benefit the industry. Mel Karmazin sold the merger on a lie now finding a loophole to raise rates when he promised he would not.

Satellite radio is not turning a profit. It will continue to slide into oblivion unless the service takes a hard look at itself and realizes that it needs to go in a completely new direction.

A couple of thoughts -

This may be more of a tactical "what's in the next six months" move than a long term strategy. As car sales crash, the company may be looking at this to replace new revenue that wasn't going to be there.

re: under-30s. Until you have ubiquitous wi-fi or 3G, you don't have an effective platform to deliver car-based Slacker/pandora/last f.m. nationwide. I know in my rural area we're several years away from 3G, and with the consistent opposition of the phone co.s/cable co.s, we're likely to never have wi-fi in any big measure.

Scott A.
Watertown NY

I have said it before and I will say it again:

Sirus/XM- these are things that you need to do to
get more subscribers and ultimately get more revenue.

- Its ALL about CONTENT and not the delivery system

- More UNIQUE channels: Reggae, punk, electronica, etc. The less like FM the better. Bring people in that want to listen to formats that terrestial music can't provide.

- Accept, embrace your listeners and make them part of the music experience.

Increasingly, I realize the only hope for satellite radio is for this company to go through Chapter 11, get rid of current management and let someone else run this. As an XM subscriber I feared the merger, but I never imagined the service chosen by more than half of America's satellite radio listeners would be completely gutted. What a waste of a promising technology.

My finger is hovering over the 'adjust account' button to cancel 1 of my 3 radios if/when this price increase is introduced. "Waaaa" all you want but Mel&co respond to the Benjamins so speak their language. If satrad lasts until Stern's done (which is unlikely) it will surely take a big hit then. "Investing" in one of these "lifetime" subscriptions (the lifetime of the company, not yours or your radio's, of course) is insanity defined. As to the online, there's exactly 1 channel I'm interested in that's not available "under the counter" and the economics of that doesn't work for me. Plus as the economy dives further into the tank this year discretionary spending will get squeezed and honestly for most of us satrad is a (formerly pleasant) luxury replaceable with a portable media player and some time on the internet.
So sad that Mel And The Radio Men took over the platform, it had such promise until it started being run for Wall Street instead of its customers. But this is the current paradigm in corporate America - and look how well its working.

Well as promised I canceled today. Not that anyone in Mel's or Howard's office cares. What was interesting is that I have to assume I wasn't the only one canceling as after selecting 4 to cancel my account I was on hold 10 minutes and then had to wait another 10 minutes to get my account credited. As a stock holder I hated doing it but enough is enough. If we're every lucky enough to hit .13/share those are gone!

The rate increase screams of desperation. The quality of the Music programming has decreased since the merger ie. smaller playlists and narrow minded programming.

Financially, it's a good move, but Sirius XM is not getting thing extra from me. I will not pay for online access and I'm going to cancel the subscription on 2 of my 3 radios.

Eddie Trunk and Howard Stern are the 2 things keeping me subscribing to Sirius XM.

It's a bad idea. They've mismanaged the transition and continue to be tone dead and clueless.

Really stupid. Mel and co. should be lavishing their customers with love, not nickel and diming them.

Besides, the XM online player is a piece of crap. Compared to AOL Radio, it's like dial-up.

My latest three-year sub is up next year and I'm not sure I'll continue. Lots more options now than there used to be...

This is just more fuel on the fire.

When WiFi Radio is perfected for the car, the Sirius XM subscribers who loved XM for the music are going to leave in droves.

Sirius killed off XM and now karma will take care of Sirius.

My Letter to Sirius sent via https://www.sirius.com/customercare (ALL CAPITALS INDICTATES I AM YELLING AT SIRIUS!)

TERMINATING THE 32kbps INTERNET RADIO SUCKS (see below). I JUST GOT A NEW SIRIUS RADIO AND SUBSCRIPTION LAST DECEMBER FOR CHRISTMAS PRIMARILY FOR MY BOAT DURING THE BOATING SEASON, HOWEVER, I HAVE ENJOYED THE SIRIUS INTERNET RADIO SINCE I DON'T HAVE MUCH OPPORTUNITY TO LISTEN TO THE SATELLITE RADIO BECAUSE OF THE ANTENNA HASSELS AT HOME AND WORK. HOWEVER, REMOVING THE FREE INTERNET AND HOLDING ME HOSTAGE WITH A LONG CONTRACT OR ELSE PAY ADDITIONAL FOR THE, SERVICE IS TOTALLY FCK-ED. YOU CAN JUST CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION WITH THE TERMINATION OF INTERNET RADIO SERVICE, I WILL JUST USE MY iPOD.

IT IS NO WONDER WHY YOU GUYS ARE GOING BROKE AND WILL CONTINUE TO LOSE REVENUE AND CUSTOMER BASE WITH SUCH POOR BUSINESS DECISIONS... (I'M SURE HOWARD IS LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!)

THANKS FOR NOTHING!!!

On March 11, 2009, we will upgrade the online listening experience to near CD-quality digital audio. Satellite radio subscriptions will no longer include internet radio at no charge.
*If you renew your subscription now, you will continue to get online listening for FREE for the length of your subscription. This is your chance to keep listening online at no charge. After March 11th premium online listening will cost for $2.99** per month.

Been talking with programming director Jon Zellner (Jon.Zellner@xmradio.com) about the complaints from the masses concerning the audio quality of Sirus, the repetitive playlists and the obnoxious DJ banter, all of which has turned this service into nothing more than glorified FM radio.

Sorry to tell all of you that while the conversation has been polite, it has not been productive. Sirius management is convinced that running their service with the same elements of FM Radio is the way to continue.

Despite the many complaints Mr. Zellner has received through this forum, email and personal phone calls, it seems that he is committed going down the same path that continues to throw his company closer to bankruptcy.

I agree that once WiFi becomes more area standard that Satellite Radio will be irrelevant. It's becoming more and more irrelevant each year.

A couple of years ago xm offered O&A as a premium for 3 dollars more a month. I guess it didn't work out so they raised their rate 3.00 and added O&A anyway. I own 5 radios so I will cancel 2 radios and to counter balance the hike and will cancel more if needed. I don't need to worry about the online mess, I have directv and they have it on there.

Well I might just kiss off Satellite Radio, i used to have XM until they shafted me on their Rebate Scam, so I dropped them, now I'm using Sirius and with the merger it improved slightly, but now i'm just getting tired of it, with so many tunnels and overpasses in my area and lack of terresterial repeaeters, I'm thinking of cancelling Sirius too, I have 2 receivers and forcing me to lock in, and then raising prices is unacceptable, the should the best of XM/Sirius if they are going to raise prices.

This is what happens when you have a monopoly, something they promised the FCC they would not do is raise prices.

I've been a Sirius subscriber for six years now and have really enjoyed the service. However, for a company with a stock in the toilet and 1 billion in debt to decrease the consumer value during a severe recession does mean the end of my subscription. Did I mention the CEO is pocketing over $32 mil./year?

Bring them back down? Like that will ever happen.

I have been an XM subscriber since they went live - over 7 years now.

XM's programming has gone downhill since the merger. And the talk increase is ridiculous. That being said, it's still FAR ahead of FM.

But the price increase...I'm not willing to do that. So my car radio is going to get cancelled, and I'll just shuttle my Inno between the house and car. Instead of losing $2/month by keeping the price the same, they now effectively have to make up $9/month that I will not be paying them. Because of the price increase, I might even switch over to the mostly music package, since I don't listen to more than about 5 or 6 stations anyway. So that's another $3/month they have to make up somehow.

So instead of getting $20/month out of me, they now are only going to get $10. I know that may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but pretty much everyone I know who has XM is pretty pissed about the programming/price changes.

As far as online...what some people don't realize is that it has not always been free on XM. When it first started, it was $3/month. It became "free" when they raised prices from $10/month to $13/month. That part doesn't really affect me, as I never listen online.

I have also been a customer since the startup. I was 17 years old and have been paying this subscription monthly since startup. I have also added on another radio for my sister last year as the price was right. The increased prices and decline in quality has pushed me away. I called to cancel both of my subscriptions today. They gave me 2 months free...I'll use those 2 free months and cancel anyways. They just lost $21 a month from this customer of 7 years plus the cost of them to keep me in service for the next 2 months.

There is a 3 month Sirius Everything plus the Best of XM Quaterly Service promotion. I got it on 3/8/2009 for $30.99 + $2.09tax = $33.08. $11.03 per month to me or after tax $10.33 per month to SIRI.

We bitch and whine because SIRI is being run like Sprint the cell phone company. It should not come down to anyone paying retail is a putz. Just have a quality product and consitent pricing and subs will keep the product. These games of saying your raising prices but in the end you are lowering them don't benefit anyone except me keeping money from SIRI.

The FCC's decision to allow the 2 companies to merge was a poor one and one that certainly would not benefit the consumer. It has not even been a year and these concerns are coming true.

According to the FCC's guidelines, there were certain conditions that were to be followed to allow the merger. One of them being that the pricing would not be raised for 36 months.

Well as a subscriber to the Sirius I can tell you that they have used a loophole to skirt the provisions and effectively raised the prices, not once, but TWICE!

In the first instance, the did not raise the prices on the primary units, but raised the prices $2 month for each additional unit. Today I get another notice from Sirius that they are now adding a “Royalty Fee” charge of $1.98 per month on primary units and .97 for additional units.

Call it whatever you want, this is effectively 2 price increases in less than 6 months and is unacceptable. I would like Congress to look into this matter and propose legislation to prevent not only Sirius XM, but all companies from engaging in this deceptive behavior.

Everywhere you look today, companies are engaging in deceptive practices and by raising prices and disguising them as additional fees and charges. This is standard practice on just about every rental car with concession recovery fees, battery fees, tire fees, license fees, etc. They are not the only ones, this practice is very common with hotels (resort fees) and now airlines are jumping into the fray.

This has to stop. The price should be the price. The only thing that should be allowed to be added is any taxes and fees required by law.