Both satellite radio services hit their subscriber forecasts in 2005. XM Satellite Radio added 2.7 million subscribers in 2005 to end the year with more than 6 million. That's nearly twice the number

Both satellite radio services hit their subscriber forecasts in 2005. XM Satellite Radio added 2.7 million subscribers in 2005 to end the year with more than 6 million. That’s nearly twice the number of its sole competitor in the space, Sirius Satellite Radio, which added 2.1 million subscribers during the year to end with 3.3 million subscribers.

The holiday season was good for both satellite services. More than 85 percent of XM’s 900,000 new subscribers during fourth quarter came from retail sales. Sirius reported that it added 1.1 million subscribers during Q4, marking the first quarter it gained more new subscribers than XM did.

On the strength of new receivers being introduced this week during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, including new portable, handheld devices from Pioneer and Samsung that receive live XM programming, sport Tivo-like features, and play MP3 files, XM expects to reach 9 million subscribers this year.

“This is a milestone for both satellite radio and MP3, and it promises to fundamentally change the way people enjoy their music,” said Hugh Panero, president and CEO for XM.

Sirius said Thursday it expected to end 2006 with more than 6 million subscribers.