Months After: A Look at the Sirius XM Merger

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Sirius and XM merged nearly a year ago, and it’s been exciting to watch the two giants in satellite radio integrate and overcome merger issues. Though satellite radio receivers remain largely divided into XM receivers and Sirius receivers, subscribers of both satellite radio services have enjoyed much enhanced programming for the same monthly fee. Here’s a look at why the Sirius XM merger has been great to satellite radio listeners.

More Exclusives Than Ever
Perhaps the coolest effect of the merger has been the shared exclusive programming between Sirius and XM. A number of exclusive channels and programs have been integrated into regular Sirius/XM lineups for no additional subscription costs. XM radio subscribers gained access to channels like Bruce Springsteen E-Street Radio, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Radio and Eminem’s Shade 45 among many others. Sirius radio listeners have been treated to an enhanced lineup that includes Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour, Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure and B.B King’s Bluesville, in addition to a list of other offerings. Exclusive programming with some of the most renowned names in the music industry has been a staple of satellite radio’s success and now there’s more for everyone to enjoy. This is clear progress.

Best Of Both Worlds
For years, listeners had to choose between the two satellite radio services or pay double the cost to get both Sirius and XM. Though both providers offered similar music offerings, they varied in terms of sports and entertainment coverage. Choosing one service over the other was essentially a compromise. No matter how comprehensive you thought XM radio was, there were likely one or two programs on Sirius that you wished you had access to, and vice versa. In an ideal world you’d have it all.

The ideal world arrived and the merger cut out the compromise. With “Best Of” packages, subscribers got all the most prominent programs from both services with just one Sirius or XM subscription. Listeners of XM radio have finally been able to access Howard Stern, as well as NFL games, NASCAR Radio, Martha Stewart Living Radio and Playboy Radio. On the other side of the coin, Sirius listeners have been treated to longtime XM exclusives like The Virus (Opie and Anthony), Oprah & Friends, PGA tour, NHL and NBA games. Though the “Best Of” packages cost a few more dollars a month at $16.99, they’re well worth the money for anyone who wants the complete satellite radio experience.

Tighter Channel Lineups
Though you may not be that excited that the name or format of your favorite station changed a bit, the merger between Sirius and XM has inspired a good, hard look at the channels that are offered and the best possible choices for listeners. Many XM and Sirius channels were redundant, covering the same genres, so with the merger has come a fine-tuning of channel lineups to provide the most optimal service possible. As channels have been altered or combined, the listener has received the best listening experience possible.

What This Means for You
If you’re already a satellite radio subscriber, then you already know how great the merger has been. You have more channels to listen to, more subscription/programming options and more interesting personalities on your dial than ever before. If you haven’t yet subscribed to either service, the merger is even more exciting. No longer do you have to debate the pros and cons of Sirius vs. XM. You can now purchase whichever satellite radio receiver you want with the confidence of knowing that you can have access to all the programming that you desire. The choice is now clearer than ever before.