Satellite Radio Service - Sirius vs XM

If you are browsing the internet in search of a satellite radio service for the US and Canada, then you need only check two websites: Sirius com and These two giants are your only options and yet you will notice striking similarities between the two websites' design, the product pricing and the programmer's stations.

Rumors have been flying around that Sirius and XM will form a ground-breaking merger this year (2008), uniting all 14+ million customers under one banner. However, as of right now, you will need to know what makes each slightly unique.

Country Music Fans may favor the XM Radio satellite service, which provides listeners with two extra stations - one focusing on Americana Country like Robert Plant or Blackfoot, and the other focusing on Folk Country like Tim Garrison and The Nitty Gritty Band. Both stations have country music from the 80s and 90s, new country, bluegrass and classic country.

Christian Music Fans may favor XM Radio. This service includes one more Christian music channel than Sirius - in addition to Christian Pop / Rock and Gospel, XM also hosts a Southern Gospel channel with Gold City, Greater Vision and The McKarneys.

Electronic Music Fans will prefer the Sirius radio service if they'd like a Breakbeat/Old SKool station, in addition to the usual Trance/Progressive stations that both satellite radio services provide. XM Radio has exclusive rights to acclaimed BPM, but Sirius has a special Dance Hits station.

Rock Music Fans will probably prefer Sirius Radio. While XM provides four different "alternative radio" stations, a punk station, a heavy metal station, a jam bands station, a college indie station and three classic rock stations, Sirius gives subscribers roughly 23 stations with everything that XM's service has -- plus New Wave, Glam Metal, Jimmy Buffet, Grateful Dead, Elvis, Canadian rock, UK rock, Garage, 60s Rock, 70s Rock and an additional punk/ska station.

World Music Fans will find that both service providers offering two French stations, but Spanish-speaking subscribers will find XM Radio the better option, since they offer Rock En Espanol, Regional Mexican, Latin Pop, Latin Jazz, Hispanic Rhythmic and Spanish AC. Sirius, on the other hand, has only one Spanish music station for Latin Pop. Additionally, XM has a station for African and a business station in Italian.

Rap and Hip Hop Fans may prefer XM Radio because their service focuses on more Soul and Funk, along with uncensored Hip Hop and Urban Contemporary -- unless they're big Slim Shady fans, in which case they may need Sirius Radio's Eminem station.

Talk Radio Fans will have a harder time selecting which satellite radio service to choose. XM Radio will give you: Hannity & Colmes, Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, Wolfman Jack, Bob Edwards, Radio Disney, Rancid Radio for punk rock fans, Casey Casem's Top 40, Bob Dylan, Snoop Dogg and Ludacris shows and Willie Nelson specials. On the other hand, Sirius Radio offers many more celebrity hosts like: Bam Marguera, Martha Stewart, Howard Stern, Eminem, Jim Breuer, Jamie Foxx, Deepak Chopra, Nascar's Tony Stewart, Tony Hawk, Richard Simmons, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Walters and PJ Walsh.

Sports Fans will find many similarities in XM and Sirius service options. For instance, both providers have ESPN, Nascar and NHL exclusives, as well as both college and NFL football. XM gives better golf / PGA Tour coverage and Fox Sports, while Sirius gives better NBA coverage. On XM, catch shows with Jimmy Johnson, Dale Jr, Coach K, James Carville, Luke Russert and Cal Ripkin. With the Delphi SkiFi2 radio, you can get a sports ticker to show game scores on your display screen and the SportsCaster comes with 30 sports presets programmed in. However, Sirius gives you game alerts, 30 presets and lists all your favorite teams in one category with the Sportster and Streamer satellite radios. Additionally, get exclusive programming with Jerry Rice, Daryl Johnston, Randy Cross, Adam Schein, Shannon Sharpe, Ray Evernham, Tony Stewart, Rick Ackerman and Frank Isola.

Whichever satellite radio service you prefer, you will be surprised to find that both are competitively priced at $13/month and most of the radio components cost from $20 - $200. However, which ever service you choose for now, you will still need to purchase a satellite radio receiver and luckily, most of the satellite radios will work in your home and in your car.