SiriusXM Launches Less Expensive 'Essential' Streaming Plan

SiriusXM is making a bigger play for streaming audio subscribers, launching an “Essential” plan at the reduced price of $8 per month.

The company has focused much of its growth over the last few years on in-car sales, offering extended trial periods meant to hook new car buyers on the satellite radio service.

Now, however, it is targeting consumers that don’t have cars, or are seeking a less expensive option. The company says that two-thirds of consumers stream their audio today, so the product is targeting that cohort.

The SiriusXM Essential plan will be streaming-only, so it will not include the satellite-based offering in cars. It will include 300 channels, including more than 200 commercial-free music channels. Howard Stern and select sports channels will only be available upon a more premium plan.

Users will be able to stream the channels on the SiriusXM app on smartphones, tablets and connect TV devices, such as Roku and Apple TV, as well as audio devices such as Amazon Alexa and Sonos speakers.

The company is launching a new multiplatform marketing campaign to support the Essential plan, including a new tagline: “SiriusXM. No Car Required.”

Says Matt Epstein, vice president of marketing for SiriusXM Outside the Car. “...our streaming subscribers get access to all of this content in the kind of user-friendly, ‘lean back’ way that makes it easier to find the music or shows that they like best.”

The streaming audio market has become exceptionally competitive, with Spotify and Apple Music securing more listener-time. SiriusXM acquired Pandora earlier this year to gain a foothold in the market. It seeks to leverage Pandora’s technology and its in-car success to compete with the two tech companies leading the market.

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