Sirius-XM Jacks Up Rates, Charges For Music Site

Sirius/xm digital radioAs strapped for cash as the rest of the media industry, Sirius-XM Radio hopes to increase revenues by raising rates on certain customers--namely, subscribers who want to open multiple accounts. The satellite radio broadcaster is also ending its free Web-based music service. Neither measure affects the a la carte pricing structure for subscriptions adopted by the newly merged company last year.

The satcaster said it will begin charging $8.99 per month for extra accounts opened by customers in addition to their initial subscriptions. Using the "Family Plan" option, subscribers can open extra accounts when they want to add another satellite radio receiver to their service. Previously, each additional account under the Family Plan cost $6.99; the company is imposing a $2-per-month price hike.



At the same time, Sirius-XM also said it will begin charging subscribers who listen to satellite radio broadcasts online. Formerly free to subscribers, the online service will now cost $2.99 per month. However, the company promises improved sound quality under the new system.

None of these price hikes affect the basic rates for a la carte subscriptions--a condition of approval for its merger by the Federal Communications Commission last year. During negotiations with Congress and the FCC, Sirius-XM agreed to a three-year moratorium on rate increases as a concession to consumers.

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