SiriusXM launches $9.99-a-month Spotify challenger

The music streaming landscape is changing.

In the past few months alone, we’ve seen the arrival of a serious new player in the form of TikTok Music, and the launch of a much-debated new artist-centric streaming payout model from Deezer

MBW also just recently broke the news that Spotify is implementing major changes to its own royalty model in Q1 2024.

Today (November 8) brings more potentially significant streaming business news, with the arrival of a new Spotify challenger from an already established player in the audio sector: US satellite radio service SiriusXM.

At an event in New York today, SiriusXM announced a rebrand, including a new logo (the second company in the streaming business to do so this week).

SiriusXM also unveiled a new streaming app and a new ‘Streaming All Access Plan’ for $9.99 a month,  which the company says is “aimed at welcoming in a new generation of SiriusXM listeners”.

According to SiriusXM, the app “will offer listeners a more personalized, easy-to-use, lean-back streaming experience that puts discovery at the forefront”.

The new app will feature four curated sections including a customized For You landing page for each listener, as well as Music, Talk & Podcasts, and Sports.

The app also sees SiriusXM revamp its playback functionality, with a new media player optimized for each type of content; upgraded search capabilities, and an expanded podcast library. It also features a Central Audio Library with new offline listening and download capabilities.

As noted by the Verge, ‘The result is something that works and looks a lot more like Spotify’ with the new app representing ‘the most significant attempt’ by the company to consolidate its podcast, music, and talk offerings.

SiriusXM acquired music streaming service Pandora in 2019 in a  $3.5 billion all-stock transaction, and Podcast platform Stitcher for over $300 million the following year.

In addition, in a separate challenge to Spotify’s ongoing push into the Audiobooks space, SiriusXM also revealed that it’s working with Audiobooks platform Audible to “share content and give subscribers the opportunity to experience each other’s offerings beginning in early 2024”.

According to SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz, “the introduction of the new SiriusXM streaming experience marks a pivotal moment” in the company’s history.

The new app and streaming plan is evidently intended to woo listeners from other subscription streaming services – and it could pose a serious challenge to music streaming’s old guard.

With the launch of the new app next month, the company will be introducing new ‘guest DJ channel takeovers’ from over 160 popular artists and bands, ranging from Olivia Rodrigo and Cardi B to Alice Cooper and Luke Combs.

The app announcement and rebrand follow the news from last week that SiriusXM’s Pandora lost 112,000 subscribers in Q3, while its satellite service lost 94,000. (Spotify’s global Premium Subscriber base grew to 226 million paying users in Q3, adding 6 million during the quarter.)

SiriusXM’s new app begins rolling out in the App Store, Google Play, and on Amazon Fire devices on December 14 with additional platforms and features to come in early 2024.

“The introduction of the new SiriusXM streaming experience marks a pivotal moment in our history, one that kicks off a new era of innovation at our Company.”

Jennifer Witz, SiriusXM

“The introduction of the new SiriusXM streaming experience marks a pivotal moment in our history, one that kicks off a new era of innovation at our Company,” said Jennifer Witz, CEO, SiriusXM.

“And this launch is just the beginning; we will continue to iterate and develop our product offerings throughout the next year and beyond as we strive to deliver our subscribers the best listening experience on the go, in the car, and wherever they choose to tune in.

“From can’t miss live moments to the perfect soundtrack for any occasion, with the new SiriusXM, we are putting our differentiators at the forefront and welcoming in a new generation of listeners, bringing them closer to what they love.”

Suzi Watford, SVP, Chief Growth Officer at SiriusXM said: “We’re thrilled to introduce the world to the new SiriusXM brand, which brings to life the best of what we have to offer and welcomes in a new generation of listeners while staying true to our roots.

“Our new brand platform, Closer, showcases the unique nature of our offering, giving true fans a space to go deeper into what they love.”

 Music Business Worldwide