Those of you who received your Sirius XM Radio bill this month may have noticed a new increase in your bill.
Surprise! You are now paying U.S. Royalty fees on the music you have been subscribing to listen to.
The fee is $1.98 a month per the base $12.95 subscriptions and $.97 for base plans that are eligible for a second radio discount. Your actual fee may vary depending upon the Package and Plan term you choose.
The FCC decision approving the merger between SIRIUS and XM permits the companies beginning July 29, 2009 to pass through to subscribers any increases in music royalties since March 20, 2007, the day the companies first asked the FCC to approve the merger. The U.S. Music Royalty Fee implements this FCC decision.
Every time the RIAA bitches they aren’t getting enough money, Sirius XM Subscribers are going to take it in the rear, and can expect an increase in their bill. Sirius XM can’t afford to pay the royalties out of your monthly subscription fees. They will pass along those increases to you. Oh happy day!
On one hand, at least the artists will get paid for their music. Hopefully the lesser known bands that I get to hear on channels like Hair Nation and The Boneyard will see some of this money. Somehow I doubt it though.
One of the reasons that I have subscribed to XM is to listen to music that the crap FM stations refuse to play. Sadly, XM is quickly going to become too costly an option for my music listening habits. I guess its time to buy that 160 GB Ipod for my daily commute.
For more information on Sirius XM’s U.S. Royalty Fees, click here.
With its shares of stock worth little more than a dime, Sirius XM will reportedly impose a rate increase on March 11th. The company will seek an extra $2 per additional subscription per user, plus charge $2.99 to stream Sirius XM online. The latter fee comes with an upside: all Internet subscriptions will stream with a 128k “premium” feed. According to customer support reps, current Sirius XM users can lock in at their current rates for the next three years if they re-up before March 11th.
Whether the price hikes have any effect on programming remains to be seen. While the increase isn’t exactly wallet-draining, it’s just another straw on the camel’s back for those Sirius XM who told Rolling Stone in November that they were upset with the company since their respective stations merged into one entity in November 2008. Many listeners’ favorite channels and genres were causalities of the station-merge, and customers complained of too much song repetition and DJ bantering.
Despite their huge, anti-trust-avoiding merger back in July 2008, Sirius XM has struggled to climb out of its cavernous debt. The current economic situation and a slow holiday season likely didn’t help Sirius XM’s problems, so the rate hikes are likely an attempt to help the company stay afloat. Fact is, radio itself is a bad business to be in right now, as even terrestrial radio suffered its worst year since 1954 in 2008. So if things are that bad when the radio is free, imagine how bad it is when you have to pay for it. Still, we’re hoping our ordeal with Artie Lange and “The Howard Stern Show” these past few days have at least helped sell a couple radios.
Courtesy of Rollingstone.com