SiriusXM Launches $8 Streaming-Only Plan For Listeners Without Cars

Courtesy of SiriusXM
       

The Essential plan is geared toward younger consumers, and capitalizes on the rise of smart speakers.

SiriusXM has long dominated in-car subscription radio. But now, the radio giant that merged with Pandora in February is targeting listeners outside the car with the launch of a new, streaming-only subscription and its motto "no car required."

Called SiriusXM Essential, the plan is built especially for listening on mobile phones, tablets, desktops and in-home devices, including Amazon Alexa, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Sonos speakers, Xbox, Sony PlayStation and others. Subscribers will have access to SiriusXM's full lineup of 300-plus channels at just $1 for the first three months, and $8 per month thereafter -- roughly half the price of SiriusXM's in-car packages, which start at $15.99 per month.

The Essential plan excludes Howard Stern’s two channels as well as NBA, NHL, and NCAA channels, which you'll need a Premier plan to access. 

The new offering comes as younger consumers are increasingly abandoning radio in favor of digital-only listening on their mobile devices. According to new data from Edison Research's Share of Ear study, AM/FM radio listening among the 25-54 age group decreased by 22 percent over the past five years, while streaming increased by 30 percent. Smart speakers are also taking hold, as nearly a quarter of the population aged 12 or older now own one.

SiriusXM vice president of marketing Matt Epstein says the plan is part of an effort to cater to younger listeners. “We’ve now created the Essential subscription as an appealing option for the many people, particularly younger consumers, who don’t have a car or don’t spend a lot of time in their car,” he explains in a release. “Our streaming subscribers get access to all of this content in the kind of user-friendly, ‘lean back’ way that makes it easier to find the music or shows that they like best.”

The launch is the latest in a string of streaming-focused developments from SiriusXM. The company unveiled Pandora NOW, a curated channel of top-trending new music on the streaming service, earlier this month, following the creation of Pandora's first-ever content team. And last week, SiriusXM announced that nearly two dozen SiriusXM programs will be available to Pandora listeners as podcasts.