Music Business

SiriusXM Review: What Is SiriusXM & Is It Good For Creatives?

Photograph of the blog post author, Pete Briley

Pete Briley

15.3.2021

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Some readers may be incredibly familiar with SiriusXM, whilst others have perhaps never even heard of it, let alone have any clue what it is. If you fall into the second category, don’t worry, you are certainly not alone! 

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In this article, we will dive head-first into the world of SiriusXM and cover some of its main features. Including the SiriusXM player, the SiriusXM App, and SiriusXM Packages. Let’s get started.

What Is SiriusXM?

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In a nutshell, SiriusXM is a satellite radio service that covers the United States and Canada. The company was formed in 2008 after a merger between two competing Satellite Radio providers – Sirius and XM.

The great thing about satellite radio is the availability. As the radio waves are relayed via satellite, you have extended coverage as well as superior audio quality compared to FM or AM radio. 

What Does SiriusXM Do? 

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SiriusXM has tons of different SiriusXM stations and channels. These include music, sports, news, entertainment, comedy, and even an exclusive deal with legendary broadcaster Howard Stern!

There are also specific channels wrapped around other factors, such as season. Including a whole host of SiriusXM Christmas Channels which are pretty festive!

However, what you have access to as a listener will depend on which SiriusXM subscription and hardware you have. Essentially, you can have access to over 350 different radio channels streamed via SiriusXM online at SiriusXM.com. With over 165 of these channels also available in your car or other audio devices via the SiriusXM App.

Satellite radio can be a little tricky, especially with the added component of pairing it to your car. Luckily, SiriusXM customer service is great and can help get you get up and running.

The SiriusAX App

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The SiriusXM App makes for a much more engaging radio experience.

It allows you to connect SiriusXM to wireless speakers, smart TVs and also allows access to on-demand features. This allows you to listen to specific interviews and shows in your own time, rather than having to catch them live. 

The app also has a great way of suggesting new content to you based on your likes, so it’s also great for new artist discovery.

What Does This Mean For Artists?

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Radio has always been a huge part of an artists’ success. Getting on a national radio playlist was once the only way to have really meaningful success as an artist.

However, as the internet has transformed the way in which we consume media, outlets like SiriusXM provide a real opportunity for artists

SiriusXM boasts over 350 channels. The music channels are categorised by genre, decade, hits, and new releases. This means that a consumer can seek out specific kinds of music and listen to all kinds of different artists. 

For a new artist, that means a placement on a SiriusXM Playlist is really valuable. This is due to the fact that the listeners of that playlist are much more likely to be open to your music.

Furthermore, SiriusXM streaming caters for all sorts of user cases. From individuals who are passionate about radio, right through to businesses. The availability of SiriusXM in the air or at sea also means that the exposure for new artists can be really powerful. 

There is also the opportunity to take advantage of SiriusXM Subscriber Perks. Here, fans can enjoy exclusive online performances, meet and greets, and much more, which gives artists yet another tool in their arsenal to engage with their followers.

How Much Does SiriusXM Cost?

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There are many different SiriusXM plans. The foundation has three distinct offerings: Sirius XM ‘Premier’, Sirius XM ‘Select’ and  SiriusXM ‘All Access’. 

‘Premier’ is streaming only whilst ‘Select’ and ‘All Access’ also offer an in-car option. The main differentiator is the number of channels available, although, you still get a lot! These packages are available at $1, $5, and $8.25 per month, respectively. 

Beyond the basic packages, there are also other listening options including ‘Mostly Music’, ‘Family Friendly’, ‘Military’ and ‘Student’ offerings. So, it can be a little tricky to work out the best SiriusXM deal.

For those unsure of which package would be best suited to them, there is also a SiriusXM Trial package both for the app and online. As well as for your car, for which you can sign up on the website. 

The trial gives you three months. So it is a pretty good amount of time to decide whether or not it’s a service you might like. 

SiriusXM Alternatives

Of course, there are loads of competitors out there. Including all of the mainstreaming services such as Amazon Music, Spotify and Apple Music.

However, SiriusXM has some unique features which set it apart. Including the Howard Stern partnership and some of the sports-specific channels including NBA and MLB radio. 

But, how does it compare to the major platforms?

Apple Music vs SiriusXM

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If radio is your thing, then whilst Apple Music does have some radio options, it does not compare to the sheer breadth of radio channels offered by SiriusXM. 

However, Apple does have more choices in regards to on-demand options. Including both curated playlists and albums, so it does make up for the lower live radio offering. 

Amazon Music vs SiriusXM

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Whilst Amazon Music has a shorter free trial period (30 days) than SiriusXM (3 months) – it does boast other advantages. Including an ad-free model. 

Also, there is an Amazon Music membership that can be incorporated into Amazon Prime. Offering a smaller (but undeniably still broad) selection of music that also has all the other benefits of Amazon Prime. Including free premium delivery on orders and Amazon Prime TV. 

However, the main advantage of Amazon Music over SiriusXM is the high-res audio. Whilst SiriusXM’s audio quality is good compared to AM and FM Radio, if you’re an audiophile, you will probably be disappointed. However, Amazon Music offers full-quality audio that can also be listened to offline.

SiriusXM vs Spotify

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Spotify has the lion’s share of the streaming market, and for good reason. The brand is established and the service pretty good for consumers. There is an ad-supported free model or an unlimited paid model. Which is quite affordable when compared to SiriusXM’s offering that allows offline listening. 

Moreover, Spotify also has its own unique features for music discovery. New releases and artists are highlighted to users in the banner ads on the platform and in the ‘suggestions for you’ sections. Additionally, for those who like to plug-and-play, there are a number of algorithmic playlists that highlight new releases to consumers. 

Whilst Spotify does not have a live radio offering including DJs, it does have podcasts available. 

That Was Our Review Of SiriusXM

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If you are based in the US or Canada and you are a real fan of Howard Stern, basketball, or baseball, then SiriusXM might be for you. However, overall, it’s hard to really compare it to services like Spotify or Apple Music

For consumers, SiriusXM’s pricing structure is complex and largely confusing. Two of the main unique selling points – the ability to listen in the car and the selection of different channels, have been mirrored by competitors such as Apple and Spotify through applications such as Car Play.

However, for artists, it does of course present the opportunity to get tracks in front of a receptive audience. Which is definitely something that creatives would find very valuable.

SiriusXM offers a free trial, so why not give it a go and decide for yourself!

Have you ever used SiriusXM? Let us know about your experiences in the comment section below! Also, whilst, you’re here, why not check out some more articles on our blog? We recommend How To Become A Radio Host8 Ways To Use Radio Tracking and The Best Music Podcasts Of 2020, we know you’ll love them! Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Music Gateway is always looking to help creatives, including promoting your music and improving your streaming presence! Also, check out our Sync opportunities page to get your music in TV and Film! Try it out for free today by signing up or clicking the button below.

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