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XM Goes Commercial Free!

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Brian L, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Brian L

    Brian L Well-Known Member

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    Well I'll be dipped! This is the contents of an e-mail I just got. I sure hope that no one is pulling my chain!

    This is great news! I love the content on XM, and just added a second radio, but I HATE COMMERCIALS.

    I guess they are listenning!

    BGL
    -------
    Dear XM Subscriber:

    First, from all of us at XM, thank you for being a valued member of the XM family.

    From every vantage point XM had a spectacular 2003. Ending the year with over 1.36 million subscribers, XM Satellite Radio is one of the fastest growing entertainment media ever. Building on this tremendous momentum, we're delighted to announce several programming content enhancements in 2004 we know you're going to love.

    First, XM will offer 100% COMMERCIAL-FREE MUSIC beginning February 1st. With 68 commercial-free music channels, XM will deliver the most commercial-free music in satellite radio. From Rock to Jazz, Classical to Hip-Hop, Country to R&B, you'll now enjoy more of the music you love, without commercial interruption.

    Complementing the move to 100% commercial-free music will be the debut of exciting new channels, including:
    * Highway 16 - Today's top Country Hits - Ch. 16
    * The Blend - Adult Contemporary Hits - Ch. 25
    * Fungus - Punk Rock - Ch. 53
    * Lucy - Classic Alternative Hits - Ch. 54
    * MSNBC - Global and national news - Ch. 130

    We are also pleased to announce the launch of XM INSTANT TRAFFIC & WEATHER. Powered by Traffic Pulse and The Weather Channel, XM Instant Traffic & Weather will offer listeners in-depth, up-to-date information about road and weather conditions in 21 major metropolitan markets nationwide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing greater detail and more frequent updates than available elsewhere on the radio. The first 15 metropolitan markets are available beginning March 1st. You can visit http://traffic.xmradio.com to hear report samples and learn more about this wonderful new XM service.

    There's more good news. 100% Commercial-free music, exciting new programming content, Instant Traffic & Weather - all will be included as part of your basic subscription. There are no new charges or fees.

    To accommodate these many exciting enhancements, some channels will change number, category, and/or format, or will be eliminated.
    * MTV (ch. 25) and VH1 (ch. 26) will move from Hits to Variety (ch. 155 and 156, respectively).
    * Spirit (ch. 63) will move from Urban to Christian (ch. 33)
    * Fine Tuning (ch. 104) will move from World to Rock (ch. 49)
    * XM Live (ch. 168) will move from Variety to Hits (ch. 26)
    * We will no longer carry Special X (ch. 30), Aguila (ch. 90), Vibra (ch. 92), and Tejano (ch. 93).

    A new channel lineup card will be mailed to you later this month. For more information about all the changes and to view a new channel lineup immediately, please visit http://lineup.xmradio.com.

    Thank you again for your valued patronage and for making XM #1 in Satellite Radio.

    Best Regards,
    The XM Team
     
  2. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Well-Known Member

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    Sirius must have really put the heat on for them to have made that move.
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Well-Known Member

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    Probably a contributing factor to be sure, but I think their subscribers probably put the most heat on them.

    I can now recommend XM to my friends without ANY reservations or qualifications.

    BGL
     
  4. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Well-Known Member

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    On Sirius are all the stations commercial free or is it just the music channels? Either way, I'm pumped at the new lineup(Lucy should be fantastic IMHO, and though I am sad to see Special X go, I'll live [​IMG] As long as the sound quality doesn't take a hit, I'll be quite happy.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    No, I'd say the members did. XM Radio was facing
    bad feedback for its commercial airplay (including
    an article I recently posted, though I take no credit).

    If you frequented XMFAN.COM you saw the many threads
    from members who complained about commercials.

    This puts Sirius in a very bad position as the
    playing field is now even and XM has far better
    music programming.

    XM even added something comperable to Sirius Radio's
    Movin' Easy, which is great news.

    Still, I am rooting for the underdog. I want Sirius
    Radio to be even better than it is now.
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Well-Known Member

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    Oh come on Ron, you didn't sell your XM gear did you????

    Just put it all back in the car and all will be forgiven[​IMG]

    BGL
     
  7. MatS

    MatS Well-Known Member

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    great news for us in the XM community!!! [​IMG]
     
  8. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Well-Known Member

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    Awesome news, indeed! Thanks, XM!!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. MatS

    MatS Well-Known Member

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  10. Chris

    Chris Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, as long as SIRIUS has a 7 year exclusive package for the NFL, I don't think they are in danger of going anywhere [​IMG]
     
  11. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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    While it is nice that XM is going comercial free, they are canceling one of my favorite channels: Special X

    Personally, neither of the anouncements improve the services much for me and downgrade the stations that I listen to the most. XM Music Lab now has to share time with Jam Bands. Fine Tuning may change formats, which would ruin the perfect balance that they have right now. Sirius doesn't add anything new, really.

    I guess both companies want me to cancel my subscription...

    Jason
     
  12. MatS

    MatS Well-Known Member

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    while it does not make up for the fact the dedicated channel will not exist at least some of the programming may pop up elsewhere. Also if you don't like the decision I urge you as a subscriber to let your voice be heard to the powers that be. This thread proves they have to be listening at least a little
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I have to say that Instant Traffic & Weather
    is a fantastic addition -- especially for those
    of us that commute.

    Yes, I still own some XM gear. While I got rid
    of the Alpine (XM) stereo, I do have a Delphi SkyFi
    plugged into the AUX of a Kenwood (Sirius) receiver.

    I subscribe to both.
     
  14. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% Jim. XM axed commercails because of it's competitor, not it's subscribers. Their churn must have been higer than usual.
     
  15. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Well-Known Member

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    While there were probably many reasons for it, I don't think Sirius was a major one. It wouldn't surprise me if that the money they made wasn't worth the trouble...

    Jason
     
  16. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Well-Known Member

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    It would appear to me that Fine Tuning is simply changing categories and channel number -- not programming. This sort of thing has been done a number of times in the past.

    Also, I would not look for XM to raise prices. Just my opinion.

    My concern is that XM will move the commercials over to the non-music channles, such as the comedy channels.

    I look forward to listening to Imus In The Morning on MSNBC while driving to work!
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    XM was under a lot of pressure from their
    subscribers. Take a look at XMFAN.COM and
    you'll see many complaints about commercials.

    It's not the fault of the people that originally
    joined XM. The commercials just increased.

    If I made it sound as if XM's decision was based
    solely on its subscriber base, I apologize. I do
    realize that XM was looking to up the ante. But
    I also know that over the past year, XM had lost
    many subscribers to Sirius because listeners were
    tired of the increased commercial pollution.
    In fact, the day I called XM to cancel one of
    my accounts (I had just got Sirius) they asked
    me why I was cancelling. After I told them it
    was because of commercials, the operator told me
    that they were getting a lot of complaints.

     
  18. Brian L

    Brian L Well-Known Member

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    So what? Why does it matter?

    Competition is good. Now Sirius needs to either lower their fee, OR add better programming to justify the existing price structure. Thats how things work around these parts; compete or die.

    As Ron said, the user complaints were not that there were any commercials (we ALL knew it was not commercial free when we signed up), but that they were getting much more intrusive.

    And if they had announed that they had to raise their fee by $3/month to do it, I would have said fine; its worth it to me. Maybe not everyone would agree, but to me it would be a small price to pay to have access to 100% commercial free music.

    Until yesterday, I advised friends to look carefully at both systems simply because I was concerned that XM was on a slippery slope.

    Now I can suggest XM without reservation.

    I think it will be good that both services remain viable, as it will result on a better product for us lowly consumers.

    BGL
     
  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Want to know how to REALLY come out #1?

    Streamline the channel line-up to free up
    enough bandwidth to offer CD quality audio.

    The service that does THAT will be the pot
    of gold at the end of the rainbow.
     
  20. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Ron, I would have totally agreed with that statement a few years ago, but now I'm not sure I can.

    Look at the popularity of low bit-rate mp3's. I'm not sure the average consumer really cares about audio fidelity like we do. Additionally, most people right now are using an FM modulator or cassette tape adapter to get the satellite signal into their car system, thereby negating the CD quality of the stream itself.
     

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