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SiriusXM Launches 1990s/2000s Rock Stations Turbo, PopRocks

PopRocks specializes in '90s/'00s pop rock, while Turbo reps hard rock from the '90s and early '00s.

As ’90s/’00s nostalgia continues to reach a fever pitch, two new stations from SiriusXM look to capitalize on that growing musical trend.

PopRocks and Turbo, the latest additions to the satellite radio service’s roster, will debut Aug. 17 as full-time channels available to more than 32 million subscribers.

PopRocks, which slots in on channel 17, will air music from the 1990s and 2000s in the pop-rock genre (think Goo Goo Dolls, Train, Sheryl Crow and the like), while the bread and butter of Turbo (channel 41), originally presented as a streaming-only station, is ’90s/early-’00s hard rock from Linkin Park, Metallica, System of a Down and more.

Steve Blatter, SiriusXM’s svp/gm of music programming, tells Billboard that both stations will fill voids in programming that the company sought to occupy as the decade stretched on and the playlists on existing stations became more and more diverse, allowing for spinoffs.

“As the music on Octane, our channel for contemporary hard rock, evolved over the past few years, it became increasingly apparent that hard rock from the ’90s and the first 10 years of the 2000s was deserving of its own dedicated channel,” Blatter says. “The introduction of Turbo will allow Octane to dedicate even more air time to developing and breaking even more new artists.”


Meanwhile, PopRocks gives artists like Coldplay, John Mayer and Matchbox Twenty — who, Blatter says, “never had a dedicated home” on the service — a specific format at which to shine. 

“The availability of PopRocks will allow our Lithium channel to increase its focus on grunge and ’90s alt rock, and The Pulse (2000s/2010s adult contemporary/pop) can now introduce and break more new artists,” he adds.

Blatter reiterates the nostalgic game plan of each station, noting that though acts like Mayer and Linkin Park might have new material in 2017, PopRocks will largely stick to artists’ discographies from the ’90s and ’00s at launch. 

Both stations are also currently set as indefinite additions to SiriusXM’s programming and will be programmed by Dave Wellington (Turbo) and Darrin Smith (PopRocks).

Turbo’s slot on SiriusXM’s airwaves means it replaces Faction, also a ’90s/’00s hard rock station (though with added punk rock/hip-hop) that moves to moves to its streaming-only service.