There has been talk about XM and Sirius uniting as one when Sirius bought their satellite radio competitor a few months ago. People were excited since satellite radio offered a chance for people to hear radio without censorship, and with what you want to to hear, not what advertising consultants want you to hear. There was more variety, more choices, more of what territorial radio no longer provides. As of last week, Sirius were making changes to their programming not by transferring XM’s channels to theirs, but removing programs that had devoted audiences. For the time being, those who have XM radio can only listen to programs using the XM technology, because both systems are incompatible. Sirius listeners don’t have to worry, but those who have spent money for XM’s system and programming (which some way was superior over Sirius) now have to deal with permanent changes.
Even if you don’t have satellite radio, you have no doubt heard about the merger. But according to an article at Consumerist.com, the merger is leading to one obvious thing: fewer channels and programming that is quite clean. Some of the shows on XM were explicit, but you could listen to “clean edits” on other channels. If you wanted the real hardcore stuff, you had your options. If you wanted special DJ mixes or sets, you had it. If you wanted rural country or rare blues, you had it. If you wanted electronica and its many varieties, you could select the channels of interest. No more. Sirius has let go of many of its DJ’s, and by shrinking their ways of entertaining, they are essentially offering less options for the same price they charged before, listening to the same type of music you can pretty much find on regular FM radio in any city or town.
Isn’t the reason you bought satellite radio was to escape the mundane state of current radio? Now the company expects for people to pay for that AND advertising? I’m waiting for the inevitable Disney/Sirius merger so that every channel has some Disney programming on it, selling and hyping up Disney 24/7 because that’s the Disney way.
Unfortunately, as someone who was curious about satellite radio, this is giving me second thoughts. As others have said, things were better when there was competition, and now that Sirius is the big boss, it seems terrible. I hope someone will come up with an alternative, because the way things are now, I see Sirius going out of business in three years.
I support the power of radio and still believe in the power of it, but this is why more people are looking to podcasts and internet radio, although if some had their way, there would be heavy restrictions on it too.