Well, satellite radio lovers, we have good news and bad news. The good news is that the positive stipulations to the Sirius XM merger deal will finally begin to bear fruit and a variety of new programming packages will be available. The bad news is that many current subscribers will see their fees increased. First and foremost, the basic subscription fee for the current programming package will not budge – as the providers stated during the merger battle, the core subscription will stay fixed at $12.95 per month with lump sum discounts intact. The primary change is one that will affect subscribers with multiple radios, as additional subscriptions will jump from $6.99 per month to $8.99 per month. The variety of new packages and a la carte plans revealed during the merger deal will be available as well however, ranging in price from $6.99 per month to $16.99 per month. Let’s have a look at all of the offerings:

  • Sirius Everything (basic subscription): $12.95
  • Best of Both (Sirius Everything plus Best of XM): $16.99
  • A La Carte (50 Sirius channels a la carte): $6.99
  • A La Carte Gold (100 Sirius and/or XM channels a la carte): $14.99
  • Mostly Music: $9.99
  • News, Sports and Talk: $9.99
  • Family-Friendly: $11.95
  • Family-Friendly plus Best of XM: $14.99

Plans that combine Sirius and XM programming will of course require a new radio. The other big change is the removal of the free internet streaming option. Currently, paying subscribers can enjoy free low-quality streaming over the internet or pay $2.99 for a high-quality 128k stream. The former will now be removed and all subscribers must pay $2.99 to enjoy programming via the internet. Of course that’s not a bad deal at all; a year of streaming will run $35.88 which is comparable to both Pandora and Last.fm ($36 each), and 25% cheaper than Slacker. These changes will take place on March 11 and users are invited to prepay for service prior to that date in order to be locked in at the current pricing for up to three more years. What say you satellite radio subscribers – happy, sad or indifferent?


Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.