Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dear XM:

I recently purchased a vehicle that came with XM Radio free for 90s days. I like the idea of commercial free music - I am not interested in Talk Radio, or Howard Stern or MLB so I am only interested in the music part.

Thing is - now that you merged with Sirius you've gotten rid of all your cool music channels and just took on the Sirius channels - which to me are sub par. XM Cafe was excellent - now it's the spectrum and I turned it on today to hear a Bob Marley song off the Legend album - um ya... that album is practically handed out at college orientation - that isn't a "deep track". I want songs I don't know yet, not the same old bullshit I can listen to for free on 93.7 or some similar channel.

So far the only music channels I've found worthwhile are: Area (for some club music), 1st Wave (80s alt rock), and XMU (Indie College Radio). But honestly XMU isn't any better than WERS 88.9 Emerson college's radio station that has been going strong and FREE for 60 years! In fact 88.9 is such a great station I listen to it exclusively M-F during my commute. And 1st Wave is basically my cd collection from the 1980s - I haven't heard a song I don't already own on that station.

If you are going to get me to pay $10 a month for commercial free music I want to hear GREAT music that I haven't heard before. I don't want to hear top 40 pop that is played EVERYWHERE for free already! Or the same alt rock track every free 'alt rock' station is playing.

I know satellite radio is in trouble - I believe the way to get and keep paying subscribers is to offer channels that really are playing deep tracks, not the stuff that is already played on free stations. Otherwise people like me are going to stick to their ipods and commercial free college stations like 88.9.


Will said...

Actually, I compared Sirius and XM back in the day and Sirius had stronger original programming (plus the NFL). The newly merged company does have subpar programming, but not because they adopted the Sirius's because they killed some of the best channels on both services. Two of my favorites were eliminated in the merger and it has occurred to me that they removed nearly all channels that had individual DJs and unique line-ups, only to replace them with bland channels (80s, rock, alternative, etc) that are essentially just playlists on repeat. No original commentary, no unique personalities, just music. I imagine it was a cost-cutting measure and hope that when they are able to restructure, the better channels return. In the meantime, I ponied up $300 for a lifetime subscription years ago, so I've since gotten my money's worth and it won't cost me a dime to stick with them until things improve.

DJDiva said...

I can see the NFL being worth it if I was in my car during games(Love my Football!)

I didn't have XM, I had only heard bits and pieces in other people's cars. My boyfriend had Sirius and let his subscription expire.

I used to like the BBC stations on Sirius, but the new one doesn't seem to be the same - I think you are exactly right: it's bland and seems to be playlists on repeat.

G said...

They are all basically the same stations as before, you just have to learn the new station names and numbers and give it more than a few minutes to determine if it's good or not... the musicians make the music, not the DJs. The coffee house is similar to what XM Cafe was. I don't see how you can't find good music on over 69 music only channels

DJDiva said...

I'm not arguing that it's not good music - I think a lot of the music I've heard is good, what I am arguing is - is it good enough to pay for it every month? Right now most of the stuff I have heard is either already on 88.9 wers (free fm radio), or on my ipod (songs I already paid for).