The two major satellite-radio providers, XM and Sirius, are reporting benchmarks in their subscriber figures, capping a year in which the burgeoning market's profile rose significantly.

The two major satellite-radio providers, XM and Sirius, are reporting benchmarks in their subscriber figures, capping a year in which the burgeoning market's profile rose significantly.

Market leader XM Satellite Radio recently topped 3.1 million subscribers, its stated year-end goal.

"Holiday shoppers bought XM radios in record numbers," president/CEO Hugh Panero says in a statement. The company rolled out a variety of new products for the holiday gift-buying season, including the Delphi XM2Go MyFi portable hand-held satellite radio.

Sirius Satellite Radio surpassed the 1 million-subscriber mark this month, beating its year-end target. The company says it drastically upped consumer awareness of its service in the second half of 2004, with the high-profile hirings of shock-jock Howard Stern and new CEO Mel Karmazin.

"We predicted that we would reach 1 million subscribers by year-end, and we did it," says Karmazin. "It's now clear that consumers are increasingly recognizing the appeal of our programming."

XM Satellite Radio stock closed Friday (Dec. 24) on the Nasdaq at $39.92, and remained there in early trading today (Dec. 27). It opened 2004 at $27.50 and hit a 52-week peak of $40.80 in December.

Sirius Satellite Radio stock closed Friday on the Nasdaq at $7.95, and was up to $8.29 in early trading today. It opened 2004 at $3.80 and hit a yearly high of $9.43 earlier this month.