Several months after crushing StarPlyr, XM Sirius has gotten around to launching their own streaming iPhone client. And, as you might expect, premium content such as Howard Stern and the NFL is not available. For long time subscribers, the app is probably a nice (free) bonus. But for newer subscribers, ‘Premium Online’ is bundled with the most pricey satellite packages or available as a $3/mo add-on.
After my rather vocal XM cancellation (which ended up in the NYTimes) last fall, I recently resubscribed to XM after upon finding a half price deal ($77/yr) in the Fatwallet forums, giving up on AT&T‘s network (‘less bars is more places’) for continuous music streaming, and XM proving disco isn’t dead. So I’m a new subscriber all over again, but online playback is no longer included as part of my subscription.
For a company with stagnant subscriber growth and imminent rate hikes, giving away online access could help stop the bleeding and attract new customers. Or it may not matter at all… with the very fine Slacker and Pandora products available (for free) in both desktop and mobile clients. If I’m paying an additional few bucks a month for commercial-free music, it’s going to Slacker.
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