When Sirius and XM merged a while back we lost the idea of competition for satellite radio. That's too bad because what it's become is dead and dying. Streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora are going to eat satellite radio for breakfast. It may not happen this year, but the satellite format sucks. Let me explain.
Too many choices, too much of the same music. There is ONE channel called Deep Tracks. Guess what? That's about the only station that plays deeper cuts of music. When you see that AC/DC is rocking around on channel 34 you can be assured it's one of three songs. And that's across the board, no matter what station they are playing on, except for Deep Tracks.
Stations like Tom Petty, and Pearl Jam, while interesting in concept become quite boring to listen to. Sure you can jump around XM like a giddy teenager, but if I'm on Lithium – Grunge of the 90's I should LOVE almost every song. Well, that's the idea. In actual practice XM's curation feels much more like a machine rather than a DJ, even though they interrupt the music between damn near every song to tell you your listening to Lithium. Oh boy, that's helpful. We're already PAYING for the radio not to have ads. Why do they make their own "near ads" bump in between EVERY. STINKIN. SONG?
So if you find a station you like, you should be compelled, by the great selection of songs, to stay on that station for a while, at least a 15 minute car trip. But that's not my experience. The stations are so poorly constructed, I find myself queueing up the next station as every song begins to wrap up. Part of this is so I don't have to have the annoying station bumper, but the main reason is the song selection is likely to be so formulaic that I'm bored even before the next song begins.
Here's an idea. If you've got a Tom Petty station, how about not playing any Tom Petty on the other stations? Same goes for Pearl Jam.
The BIG IDEA: Kill all station bumpers. We can see the name of the station right there on our XM dashboard. And since we're paying we don't need you to remind us what "station" we are listening to. The stations and djs are not live, so don't try to fake us into believing we're listening to regular radio. Give us a BETTER EXPERIENCE not the same experience. What are you getting out of the near-ad? Branding? Did I mention we're paying already, so kill you own internal ads.
I don't think I'll ever subscribe to a paid service. Heck I don't even mind Pandora's ads. And Pandora is only $4.99 per month to delete the ads. AND that means ALL of the ads.
Just my opinion.
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