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Thread: Why I Didn't Renew My Sirius-XM

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Why I Didn't Renew My Sirius-XM

    My Sirius-XM contract came up for renewal last month and I decided to let it lapse.

    Reason?

    Some of the content is really good (I'm a longtime and big-time fan of Howard Stern's) but I'm also really tired of paying to hear commercials. Endless, super-annoying commercials. Buy Gold! Do You Need Mortgage Relief? *

    Argghh!

    On some of the Sirius-XM talk channels, commercials are 40-50 percent of the "content." For example, Glenn Beck. I don't like Glenn Bleck but sometimes I listen to the channel he's on because I just like talk shows. But if the guy isn't pushing his "sponsor this hour," then he's taken another 5-10 minute "break" so that the sponsor can directly push whatever the product is.

    Now, there's nothing wrong with advertising your product. What has been eating at me for years now and finally caused me to say the Hell with it is this business of paying to be spoon-fed ads.

    In other contexts, where you're viewing or hearing a program for free, I understand that having ads in the mix is a necessary - and absolutely justifiable - thing. It is how the station (or Internet site, like Hulu.com) makes money. Since you're not paying to view or hear the program, the ads are there so that the provider of the program is able to make ends meet and - hopefully - make a profit.

    It's a fair exchange and as I said I'm fine with it when it comes to rabbit ears TV, say - or "free" radio. Online stuff, too.

    But there is something super obnoxious about paying a monthly fee to receive content - ostensibly - but which in reality is at least a third to half commercials.

    They're doubling dipping, as far as I'm concerned. And it makes me mad. Mad enough to drop my subscription, much as I will miss Howard's show. *

    Yes, I know. Sirius-XM has "commercial free" channels. But they are all music channels. Some of them are very good, but let's face it, it's 2011, and we have things such as MP3 players and (in our cars) music storage hard drives that can catalog an entire library of your own personally chosen selections. I bought Sirius-XM for just one reason - to hear the talk programs like Howard's show. I bet many other people did, too - and are getting tired of *all the &%$## commercials. *

    Sirius-XM as it is currently set up works just like cable TV - which I'm also getting sick of, for exactly the same reason.

    If I am paying $70 a month, I don't want to have to hit the mute button or change channels every eight minutes or so in order to avoid being force-fed loud, overlong (and lately) belligerently repetitive commercial dreck.

    I got that with free TV; now I'm paying to get it?

    I think maybe this is why Sirius-XM hasn't been as successful as everyone hoped - Howard Stern included.

    Howard, to his credit, does a much better job keeping the dreck in check. And - I hope I am not giving away something here - he provides a way to escape commercials almost entirely by dint of his two channels (Sirius 100 and 101), which makes it possible to toggle between the two. When a batch of ads erupts on 100, go to 101 and - usually - you can pick up another Stern segment and dodge the advertising juggernaut.

    Still, it's annoying that you even have to do such things given you're paying to hear the stuff in the first place.

    No doubt the people in charge figure having the ads helps keep the monthly subscription fees in check. But here's an interesting fact: According to Forbes, Sirius-XMmakes 85 percent of its money from subscribers - not ads! (see here: http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/04/sir...ies-stern.html ).

    Why so many ads, then?

    I wonder: How much more would it cost per month to have really commercial-free satellite radio? Let's say double the current charge. That would mean an uptick to about $25 per month. It's not that much - cheap, frankly, to never have to hear another blankety-blank ad again.*

    Has anyone over there - in management - looked into it?

    My informal survey - talking to friends and family members who are satellite radio subscribers - indicates that there are a lot of people who would happily pay more to never, ever again have to hear about Gold Bond Powder, Debt Relief Now! or natural male enhancement products.

    I believe this might save Sirius-XM or at least, jump-start it. Imagine being able to listen to your favorite shows without also having to listen to pushy pitchmen hawking products you've got about as much interest in as Liberace had in Hustler magazine. *

    Is anyone over there listening?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Clearly, not.

    At least I can set up a spam trap on my Internet feed.
    Why am I forced to hear that crap on Sirius?

  3. #3
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Last week I had to make a 700 mile trip in a company rental car. It's the first time I ever listened to satellite radio. Try to find a decent station with something I wanted to listen to was a real pain. It didn't help that a previous renter had programmed a bunch of "Gangsta Rap" stations into the radio.

    When I turned the car in (I never want to drive a Kia Sedona 700 miles, half of it with three large men as passengers, again) I programmed a couple of gospel music channels into it.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  4. #4
    Staff
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    I just won't pay for radio period. Because of the girlfriend, I'm stuck paying a cable bill, but I would never pay for TV on my own either. Internet, yes. TV and radio no. The content of both is too static in my opinion.

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