When it comes to American satellite radio services, you can choose any provider you want — as long as it is SiriusXM. This primary satellite radio company, formed from a merger between the past two major plans Sirius and XM, offers the only useful service options in the United States.
While normal Internet radio is easy and free (outside of premium packages like the kind Pandora offers), SiriusXM makes its mark in markets where service quality and availability are more important than expense. The company offers more than 140 different radio channels, a professional listing that no Internet radio service can counter. And while these radio stations cannot be customized like Spotify or Slacker stations, SiriusXM includes 40 sports channels, 20 talk stations, 20 news stations, and 12 stations devoted entirely to news and traffic — all services that Internet radio is markedly deficient in offering.
SiriusXM may sound ideal for long commutes, or simply for a dependable radio service that works equally well in the car, at the business, and sitting with the family. However, many potential users may be nervous about picking up Satellite radio service in addition to all their other packages. After all, who has room for another new device, just to listen to extra radio channels?
Fortunately, this old fashioned view of SiriusXM products is quickly growing irrelevant. SiriusXM has solved the problem by combining Internet radio with its traditional channels to create interesting — and very useful — hybrids that you can use on any mobile device.
Satellite & Internet Radio: The Best of Both Worlds
SiriusXM Internet Radio is a subscriber service that allows you to listen to all the company’s channels using a simple SiriusXM app. It works much like other Internet Radio apps, but you can access the hard-to-get stations the SiriusXM service is known for. Different versions of the app are available for phones, iPads, laptops, and other devices. You can build a list of your favorite music genres, skip around to find your favorite talk shows, and dodge the annoying commercials of free services. With the lists handy, you can quickly tap into what channel you want when you are working out, driving, walking the dog, or finishing up a business project — without changing devices.
SiriusXM, understanding that you may still be unwilling to switch from your free services, offers a number of additional, unique services for its mobile packages. The “Start Now” function allows you to jump backward in time by as much as five hours to start all your favorite shows or sports broadcasts when they actually began, ensuring that you miss nothing.
TuneStart, meanwhile, offers a similar service for song-based stations. Rather than starting a song in the middle whenever you tune in, “TuneStart” automatically begins the song at, well, the beginning. If you need to take a break, you can pause live radio stations or rewind stations to hear the parts you may have missed during busy times. SiriusXM also includes several online channels that you cannot find using only its satellite radio services.
If you cannot access online services or use other SiriusXM devices, then the Sirius On Demand services allow you to download specific talk shows or interviews, so you can listen to them later, without needing any type of Internet or Satellite connection. All these services work for both Apple and Android devices, making this one of the most flexible radio options available.
It all comes down to pricing in the end. If you want to upgrade your Internet radio services using satellite radio apps, you need to pay for the subscription. As of now, you need to pay $14.49 per month for using the SiriusXM Internet Radio. Combining traditional services with an Internet Radio is going to cost you at least $18 per month. Additional subscriptions cost significantly less.
With these prices, the services may not be worthwhile if you only use radio apps to catch up with the latest songs or pick out your favorite tunes for work and play. But if you use the radio to keep current on sports, news, or entertainment, especially for long periods of time, you cannot beat the adaptable, mobile approach SiriusXM has taken. The services also work well for commercial enterprises where customer experiences can be enhanced by adding tunes to the shopping or dining experience.
If prices seem high, keep an eye open for short deals that SiriusXM launches to bring greater attention to its products. If your car includes an inactive radio, the company may offer you a free selection of its channels to see if you are interested in purchasing a full subscription. And while a week’s worth of free stations is always available on the SiriusXM website, the company has been known to offer lightning deals for a free year-long trial of its Internet radio services.
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