SiriusXM launches Internet Radio service in Canada with new iOS and Android apps

Daniel Bader

October 1, 2012 4:22pm

SiriusXM has launched in Canada today with some fantastic new apps for iOS and Android, along with new portable hardware for both the car and the home.

While access to the mobile service is contingent on having a $15.99/month satellite radio subscription, it’s a $4/month add-on, making the entire shebang $19.99 for the package. While that seems like a lot (and to many people it is) SiriusXM is framing the internet service portion of the service as a value-add proposition to their real revenue generator: satellite radio.

To that end, SiriusXM has redesigned both the iOS and Android app (coming soon and available today, respectively) to take advantage of many modern audio listening technologies. For example, TuneStart allows you to listen to the beginning of any song regardless of when it started playing on the actual station. This goes hand in hand with Start Now, a five-hour buffer that allows you to record the last five hours of a particular station. Because the signal is coming in over the internet, as opposed to a satellite signal, the data is more malleable; SiriusXM just streams five hours worth of content for that station, and caches it on your device until you move onto the next one.

There’s a ton of On Demand content, too, curated by the SiriusXM team. For example, when I looked at the Howard Stern Show, there were select shows going back to August, but you can’t count on the last three or five shows to be available, for example.

The apps are much nicer-looking than their previous iterations. They look and function largely the same on both iOS and Android, and have been formatted for tablets as well as smartphones. There is a big grid list of Favourite stations that you can customize, and you can download certain on-demand content that isn’t license-restricted.

The company still offers Sirius or XM Radio plans separately, so you have to subscribe to one based on the unique content you prefer. Most music stations are the same since the merger, but sports and some talk shows, for example, are exclusive to one and not the other.

Sirius, for example, offers Howard Stern, as well as every NFL game, every Nascar race and Martha Stewart. XM Radio offers Oprah Radio, every MLB and NHL hame, and Opie & Anthony. For $4 more per month, you get the Premier version of each, which gives you a “taste” of the other one. NFL comes to XM and MLB comes to Sirius, for example. The Internet Radio offering is, as said earlier, an additional $4/month, so at some point you have to ask yourself whether it isn’t easier just to subscribe to Rdio, Slacker or Music Unlimited.

For many existing users of satellite radio, the $4/month internet portion will be a welcome opportunity to obtain the same great content on portable devices, especially when there is no satellite signal. For others, the cost may be prohibitively high.

You can find out more about SiriusXM Internet Radio, and download the apps, at their website.

  • Mike


  • Sam

    Ok, I’m tired but what am I missing? I’ve had a subscripton and internet was included for years, so what’s changed?

  • Shane Sparky

    Internet radio is better, more selection and free!
    Who wants to pay more than $10 a month to listen to music that repeats itself at the same time and day for a week or two.

    I had this in my car and was useless once the trial expired.
    It;s only good if you live where there’s no 3G/LTE or don’t have Internet at your house.

    This deff was cool before the internet got big. Too little, too late.

  • Matt

    Oh yes, finally I will listen to playlists made by other people and wait for I song I want to come on.

  • monkeysweat

    are they going to update the *old* SIRIUS app? it is free with a sirius subscription, but doesn’t work on iOS 6,, I’m not about to pay for service that is supposed to be included with the satellite service…

    To be honest I’m only with Sirius as I got it for 20 bux for 5 months,, once your free trial is done, you just cancel then wait for them to call you with the offer, takes about 2 weeks, then you sign up again then rinse and repeat.

    why would i pay 15 dollars a month for basically radio when I get netflix for 8? I also have less hassle with netflix service, it doesn’t care what device, where or when,, as long as it is signing in with a paid account.

    Also, Sirius is NOT commercial free, there are tons of commercials on some channels and the ones that dont have commercials repeat their music as badly as ‘regular’ radio stations…. heck most stations are still censored so you arent even getting ‘uncut’ music.. DEFINITELY NOT WORTH $14.99 a month..

  • Randy


  • Lexcyn

    The change here is those who have this included will no longer receive it free. I just got the email from them(I have it through Sirius). As of October 1st you are on a trial until February 1st, 2013 then it goes away.

    I am pretty disappointed that they are removing one of the features I paid for when I originally signed up.

  • Steve

    Agreed, not worth $15/mth. However I have a staff purchase plan where I get it for free…and must say I do enjoy it on my morning commute when all the OTA radio stations are talking, I can listen to music.

  • Senk

    Where’s do I get the new Android App? I went to the website, downloaded the app and it’s still the old one.

  • Scott

    Sirius has good programming, but Jisus Murphy that’s a lot of money for streaming audio! I think I’ll stick with TuneIn.

  • 45

    I’ll be replacing the headphone jack in my GNex soon (broke it a few months ago. awesome), and then signing up for XM will be one of the first things I do. Opie & Anthony is always an awesome way to start up the day.

  • BC

    +Senk, same issue for me. Still the flaky 1.0 version for Android in Canada when I downloaded it just now from their website. The U.S has had newer versions for ages.

  • Colin

    Don’t ever signup for satellite radio its a rip-off. At least don’t give them your credit card number, if you do they won’t let you cancel.

  • Mike

    Why would you pay $20 per month to listen to music over the internet and listen to all the same music played over and over again. Why not just download all the music you want for free using Utorrents and besides theres an app called Paradise Music on Android that allows you to download any music you want for free. $20 per month Equals = $240 per year. Thats a huge waste of money. And if you want to know whats happening in a hockey or baseball game, just watch it on TV like all the other normal people do. Or go to a local bar or pub and watch it for free. Why pay a $20 per month subscription for stuff you can get for free.

    • monkeysweat

      The idea here is to listen to LEGAL music the LEGAL way,, you just basically told everyone to pirate music,,, the true free way is to use a free streaming music service, such as Jango — the only downside is it does not stream comedy or talk show programs when compared to SIrius,, but honestly anything over 4.00 a month for radio and app access is waaay too much,,

      with app access, you still have to cover your own data, so you are paying more than just a fee to access the service, you are paying for data..

  • Hal

    I like having sirius radio in the car but why would I pay extra to have it on my phone when there are tons of internet radio apps available already?? I don’t get it!

    If you try the Android app that is available for download, it is crap! It takes forever to load and when it does finally connect, it works for about 5 minutes and then quits. Don’t get it!

  • Senk

    The new Android app is finally up.