Satellite Radio Subscribers

Satellite radio has gained popularity since it started broadcasting, especially in the United States. The number of Satellite Radio Subscribers has been steadily growing, as people come to appreciate the high quality of programming offered by the satellite radio companies. Sirius and XM Satellite Radio are the two companies that operate in the United States and Canada. These two companies have already merged, but still they have separate subscribers and also offer separate line up of channels. It is interesting to note that through out the time, these two companies have been operational, XM and Sirius have been in stiff competition, with XM in the lead most of the time, and eventually Sirius catching up and overtaking XM.

If we see the history, in 2005 the tables were turned and Sirius started taking the lead in increasing the subscriber base. In the third quarter of 2005, XM had 617,152 additional subscribers, while Sirius had 359,294. Then in the last quarter we see a sudden surge in Sirius subscriber number, going up beyond a million additional subscribers, while XM remained at 898,315. We should also bear in mind that these figures are of additional net subscribers, which means we are not counting the ones, which are under promotional schemes. If you take the gross subscriber listing there is near parity between the two companies, with Sirius taking a marginal lead in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Some people like to see the net figures of Satellite Radio Subscribers, as they feel that gives the correct picture of how the company is faring. There have been rumours that the figures of Satellite Radio Subscribers have been hyped by including those who are enjoying free offers for a certain period. Usually a free subscription of a certain period is given when a person buys a car, which has a factory installed satellite radio. Here we might feel that the person does not have a choice and has to go along with a subscription that is offered free. So if we take this point into account you cannot really gauge the popularity of a satellite radio service based on the gross figures. The total number of subscribers in last quarter of 2007, for Sirius was 7,667,476 and for XM it was 8,570,000. So we see that if we take the whole picture into account, XM has been the more popular satellite radio.

Many people feel that there should be some standard put into practise, on how the number of Satellite Radio Subscribers are reported to the public. There should be a fair system so that people are not misled by any hype or false inflation of the figures. Many think that one should not take into account any subscribers who are under any kind of promotional offers. While some fell that there might be a lot of subscribers under the promotional offers, who actually are liking the service and will continue to subscribe, even after the period of offer is over. This is a tricky situation and needs to be debated and a correct system should be formulated.