Freebie Siriusly

Starting today, Sirius XM satellite radio offering a two-week free trial.  Doesn’t that sound great?  Everybody likes getting something for free, right?  If you have a Sirius XM receiver (in your car, at home, etc.) and it’s currently not subscribed, you can get a sampling of their channels for free.  No doubt, it may have something to with some sporting event this weekend.

Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Image by dklimke via Flickr

I bought my current car in 2009, which came with XM built-in.  I had a three-month trial, and I let it expire.  Since then, I’ve seen free trials come and go, but I’ve never gotten the urge to subscribe.

I don’t know how other receivers are, but the sound quality on mine leaves something to be desired.  Sirius XM compresses the heck out of the (digital) audio on all the channels, resulting in a loss of upper and lower frequencies.  Some of the music channels are interesting (First Wave, Lithium, Boneyard, Spectrum) but not quite interesting enough for me to pay for a subscription.  For music selection, I can use the TuneIn app and stream anything from anywhere around the world, the only downside being that I have to be tethered to an internet connection.  True, Sirius XM has Opie & Anthony and Howard Stern, which you can’t get anywhere else.  This is satellite’s strength, exclusive content (incidentally O&A and Howard are not part of the free trial).  However, if you look at some of the news channels, like MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, and CNN, it’s just the audio portion of their television channels.  If you’re paying for cable TV to see these channels, would you pay again to hear them in your car?

This year marks the 10th year of broadcasting for Sirius XM.  Could they survive another 10 years?  Will they be able to hang on to their exclusive content?


Author: Chuck

I started out as a child, then things kind of grew from there.  I spend way too much time around computers and radios, but I do like to take a break once in a while.  I'm not a real doctor, but I played one on the radio in college. A bit later on, I wrote an article that was published in COMPUTE!'s Gazette (Commodore 64/128 magazine). I also think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

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