The Washington, D.C.-based satellite radio operator’s new service – XM Radio Online – will launch early next month and will be free from commercials. The latest announcement comes just 24 hours after Internet portal Yahoo!’s cash acquisition of online jukebox provider MusicMatch for $160 million (~€132m, ~£89.5m).
XM is yet another company to compete in the increasingly competitive digital music market place, against the likes of Apple Computer, RealNetworks and Napster. Earlier this month Microsoft launched MSN Music. EBay and Virgin have also announced plans to open online music stores.
It has been trial and error for XM in the fast paced music world. Last year, the company introduced its XM PC Receiver, which connects to the majority of home computers and tunes in broadcasts from XM’s two satellites and over 100 stations. It was scrapped as it could be used with third-party software to download music from its radio stations onto home computers.
As part of the launch, eligible Dell customers who purchase Dell Inspiron notebooks and Dimension desktop computers will receive a special 30-day trial offer for the new online music service. “We are very excited to be making our commercial-free music line-up available on the Internet through XM Radio Online,” explained Hugh Panero, President & CEO of XM Satellite Radio.
It will be a waiting game for XM Radio as they monitor the success of their one-month trial. XM will normally charge $7.99 (~€6.58, ~£4.47) per month for unlimited listening and offer a discount rate of $3.99 (~€3.28, ~£2.23) to subscribers of its existing radio services.