updated 10:35 am EST, Tue January 20, 2009
Sirius XM Price Hike Rumor
Multiple sources for Orbitcast and others claim today that Sirius XM is planning to charge for its Internet radio service on top of general hikes for its regular satellite network. Normally free for subscribers to the regular service, the online component is said by an alleged employee to be picking up a $3 monthly fee for individuals and $9 for families.
The changes would be part of a greater price increase that would target some of the most common plans, including a boost for the Mostly Music pack to $13 per month and a multi-radio rate hike to a monthly $9.
If accurate, the increases would be made public on January 26th and would give existing subscribers up to March 11th to voluntarily lock in their rates and avoid the effect of the higher prices, which will mostly target new customers.
Sirius XM hasn't confirmed any of the increases but may potentially break the terms of the Sirius/XM merger set by the FCC, which asked for a price freeze during the first three years of the combined company. Sirius XM has been struggling financially, however, and is believed to be lifting prices to improve its health.