Some six months after last summer’s merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and rival XM Radio, we’re now seeing reports that the new Sirius XM is raising prices starting March 11, charging $2 more per month for additional subscriptions, and $2.99 a month for online streaming (formerly part of the base package). This move is seemingly in line with the FCC merger agreement because technically, the company is not raising its base price — if you have one receiver and don’t stream online, you’re not affected. What’s more, if you call Sirius XM customer service, someone will explain to you that you can lock in the current rate if you sign up for a three-year subscription (which in satellite radio years, is like, well, a decade). Still, the post-merger move feels like a disconcerting harbinger of price increases to come.
I’ve personally never been a Howard Stern fan (seems every day there’s fewer of those around), and at home, I plug my Internet-connected laptop into the stereo to listen to various online radio as well as my MP3 collection. That means the only place I really listen to satellite radio is my car or at work via the Internet. I like having Sirius on my four-hour road trips to see my Boston-based in-laws, but I think I might just stick with terrestrial radio and my iPod (connected via an inexpensive yet adequate-at-least-in-rural-areas FM modulator) for car rides and ditch the satellite radio rather than pay an extra 3 bucks a month just to listen at work. Yes, it’s about saving cash. But it’s also about saying screw you to this monopoly before it bites me in the behind.
Anyone else gonna chuck their satellite radio if this price-jacking rumor is true? How do you listen to radio these days? Or perhaps radio really is a dead medium…?