Once every three months (sometimes even more often than that) I get an email and also a letter from SiriusXM saying “We Want You Back”. First off, lets establish why they “want people back”…Most new cars now-a-days, come with a free trial of SiriusXM. This makes their user base seem larger than it actually is – they claim to have 32 million subscribers – but how many of those are actually paying subscribers versus those that they get from a great deal, being included in all new vehicles. When that trial ends, you have a few options:

  • Buy SiriusXM month-to-month
  • Buy a lifetime subscription for somewhere around $400 – NOTE: The subscription is for the vehicle, not for the person purchasing it

In my opinion, Sirius has a few flaws with their service that will ultimately be the demise of them.

First, lets head over to¬†http://www.siriusxm.com/ and find out what their service is all about. On their “Corporate Info” page it states “SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music; premier sports and live events; news and comedy; exclusive talk and entertainment; and a wide variety of Latin commercial-free music, sports, and talk programming.” Commercial free…well, not really. Their channels have as much “non music play” as a standard Radio station, negating the cost for “Commercial Free” there. Secondly, Sirius is satellite based when it comes to how they deliver their service. Often times, for no reason, Satellite coverage is spotty at best and as such, no satellite coverage, no Sirius.

Now that we’ve analyzed two of the major concerns, lets go a little deeper. Sirius offers a $19.99/month package which comes with 150+ channels and also streaming, awesome. Now lets look at Spotify. Spotify Premium is $14.99 for me and up to 5 people that live at my address. That means we can all use “no commercial” radio all at the same time, wherever we’re at, and even take it offline – should we not have an internet connection or spotty connectivity – ANYWHERE. Most cars that have Sirius have a USB or Auxiliary port which will allow me to connect my mobile device and play the same music anywhere I go. I can make any “channel” I want with any kind of music I want, any time I want and listen practically anywhere I want. I can’t do that with Sirius and I actually pay more, and it’s only available for me to use, not me and up to five other people in my household.

So, noting the above, with Sirius, from what I can see, you pay more than most other music services out on the market today and don’t really get the value for the dollar, not to mention you’re limited by the satellite signal and you can’t take it offline, nor can you use it with family. Don’t get me wrong, sure Sirius has a large channel line up and can provide things that Spotify or Pandora might not be able to, but lets look at TV today. You can have 400 channels, but if there’s nothing on it you like, which let’s face it, that’s most of the time, you’ll pay for a cheaper service that lets you get on demand what it is you want, when you want it, how you want it.

I hope Sirius changes their model soon or reevalutes their pricing and packaging, or I believe they are in for Sirius trouble in the future.