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XM Hikes Basic Service Fee 30%, Moves Content Over From Paid

XM Hikes Basic Service Fee 30%, Moves Content Over From Paid

XM’s basic service fee will increase about 30% on April 2.
The company announced basic service will go from $9.99 to $12.95 per month — the same as rival Sirius. XM is also moving some content from what had been paid channels, and offering current customers the opportunity to lock in lower rates if they sign up for a prepaid plan of one to five years.
The company positioned this move as adding value to its basic service and said this has been the only price increase since its launch in 2001.
The company said the basic service will now include XM Radio Online, which includes 70 channels of XM music and talk programming; that service had cost an extra $3.99 per month, plus the channel that carries Opie & Anthony, which had been $1.99. XM’s Family Plan service is not affected.
CEO Hugh Panero said the new pricing would help fund future technology development, enable XM to lower-priced radios and devote more money to programming. He predicted that the company would surpass its current target of 20 million customers by 2010.