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SiriusXM

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siriusxm.com

Sirius XM is one of the biggest satellite and online radio names out there. When you purchase a new car, one of the first things the dealership offers is a free trial subscription to the radio service. Sirius has done an amazing job of making Am/FM radio a thing of the past.

Sirius XM is available to users in so many places. The company has an online website, an app for phones, it can be hooked up to your card, and you can also purchase a stereo-like radio system. The main radio is transferrable to a couple of other bases, like car bases and stereo bases.

Website Design

The website design reads like a gigantic advertisement, which it totally is. From moment one the company is trying to get you to sign up for their radio service. Their approach is very aggressive. It is difficult to find where the real streaming section of the site is.

It’s slightly disappointing that the company relies so heavily on these ads. The colors used are off-putting and the forceful tactics are unfortunate. The product is a very good product, so their marketing is confusing. The product speaks for itself. It is very good radio.

When it comes to the actual streaming portion of the website, the design is much sleeker and easy to navigate. Instead of funky colors that don’t match, they stick with a white background, using colors sparingly in the channel blocks. The organization is okay. It could be better, but it’s not the worst.

Content

The content that Sirius XM offers is a very wide variety. There are over 140 channels available. Some of the channels are music, while others are talk shows or comedy channels. The choices are endless.

Another cool thing is that Sirius XM offers exclusive content on its app and website. One of my favorite channels is the Alt Nation. They occasionally borrow playlists from an exclusive internet channel for an event called Emo Halloweeno during the month of October.

The menu for streaming consists of the discover tab, favorites, recent, and search. The secondary menu is a little weird. I am not a huge fan of primary and secondary menus being bunched together, so for me that’s a con. The secondary menu consists of a personalized for you-tab, music, sports, news, talk, and Howard Stern.

Desktop & Mobile Accessibility

The initial desktop login screen is very bad. It immediately feels like you are being pressured into signing up for a trial. The menus are hard to find because of the ads. Once I figured out where the click to listen button was, it was smooth sailing. I chose not to create a profile at first to check out the available free content. The official streaming platform’s website is much cleaner and pleasant to look at. Searching google lands listeners on the wrong page for streaming, so that is confusing.

The vehicle version of Sirius XM is a very good experience. I have had the subscription for many years and haven’t had many problems with it. The only issue I have personally had with the vehicle version was the start-up of it. After installation, navigation mostly depends on your vehicle’s make and model but generally speaking it is very simple. Hands down, Sirius XM is the best radio service for vehicles.

The app version of Sirius XM is wonderful. However, users can’t access the app without a paid membership. This is unfortunate but understandable. The application is a scaled-down version of the website optimized for cell phones. All three versions of the service are good options. My personal favorite way to listen remains in the vehicle.

Positives

There are many positives about using Sirius XM as a radio service provider and streaming service. The company has paved the way for other radio streaming websites. It is one of the best radio services I have encountered.

For starters, the pricing for the product received is a fair price. Most of the time the company offers free trials, often for 3 months or longer. After the free trial runs out the subscription price differs according to your preferences. Outside the car, bundles range from as little as $8-$13 per month. The bundles that include vehicles is around $17-$19 per month.

The variety of channels is amazing. Approximately 300 or more channels are available to subscribers with premium memberships. There are tons of channels to choose from. Music, sports, comedy, news, and talk shows are all available for listening. The company provides very niche genres like The Coffee House for indie/ acoustic fans and many other options.

Another great feature of Sirius XM is its audio quality. No matter which device listeners choose to stream from, the sound quality remains high. Some of the live special features they do with artists sound like you are in the studio with them.

Although the paid subscription is nice, not everyone can dish out the cash for the service. Fortunately, there are so many special offers and discounts Sirius is affordable for most. If you decide you’d rather not take the plunge and subscribe yet, free listening is available on the desktop browser.

An issue I have found that is common with other radio streaming websites is the functionality of the site while navigating elsewhere. Sirius XM maintains high sound quality while searching through their website. The site also does not have any issues with leaving the tab open and multi-tasking on other web pages.

Finally, the personalization listeners receive from Sirius XM is phenomenal. Sirius XM purchased the company Pandora – a popular radio streaming site that plays songs based on your listening history. The company has managed to create a unique listening experience by utilizing user-based history technology.

Negatives

I am glad to say there are not very many negative features of the Pandora website and streaming service. The radio company has put together a unique product. However, there are a couple of features that could be improved.

The amount of ads on the first-page Google search sends you to is frustrating. It is difficult to figure out where to go to get to the real streaming webpage. The banner on the first page is distracting and almost completely covers the primary menu.

Another thing I am confused about is the branding of the company. It feels like each website, app, and other listening options the goal is not unified. The first website is a billboard for new users to sign up and try free trials. This webpage is very colorful and distracting. The colors are bright and loud. When it comes to the listening portion of their website, it is designed much differently. The streaming page is more modern with much subtler pops of color. The app is somewhere in between the two.

One of the only true complaints I have is the signal in rural areas. When traveling, in rural areas it is almost impossible to listen to the radio in the car. It isn’t a major issue, just frustrating, especially for people living in these areas.

Improvements Needed

There are only a few improvements I could recommend to Sirius XM. One of the biggest improvements that could be made would be making the landing page more appealing to the eye. I would reconsider the size of the large banner so that it does not almost overlap the main menu and think about sticking to a color scheme instead of using so many colors.

Summary

Internet radio streaming has been rising in popularity for a number of years. Leading the competition, Sirius XM blows competitors out of the water. Their unique technology tailors to users by basing suggestions from their listening preferences and history. Although the website is muddled with advertisements, the sound quality and overall product are everything users look for in a streaming service.

Likes & Hates:
Options to listen on multiple devices is nice
Subscription prices are fair
The streaming portion of the website is appealing
Content for free members is plentiful
Very high sound quality never wavers
Personalized listening experiences are great
The main radio streaming page is difficult to find
The branding is not cohesive
The amount of advertisements is frustrating