XM Announces deal with AOL?

Posted: April 12, 2005 in XM

Hmmm, not sure how I feel about this one. As a stockholder, I think this is great news, but as a listener, it gets me a bit concerned.

Basically the deal is that XM will cobrand with AOL in a new radio service that will be available to AOL subscribers, and a certain number of the XM channels will be available for free on a new web portal releasing sometime in July. XM gets put in front of AOL.com’s 20 million subscribers. Sounds good right?

But wait, there is a catch. AOL will help to program certain content for XM. XM will get to use Sessions@AOL and some other AOL exclusive programming that AOL had on it’s satelites. Now, I don’t really have a problem with that either. But from what I understand of this deal, certain AOL channels may replace XM channels. Not cool IMHO. AOL’s channels are liike jukeboxes, which is true of most internet-only broadcasters. XM is a RADIO service.

Oh yeah, and if I have to install crappy AOL software to get to use XM Radio Online after the change….

Overall, my opinions are this. GREAT for getting the XM name out there. Maybe not so great for the existing XM subscribers. Time will tell on this one.

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