Satellite Radio Programming Packages and Subscription Tiers

Unlike regular terrestrial radio and HD radio, satellite radio is a premium service that requires a monthly subscription to work. In addition to hardware like a Dock & Play unit or dedicated satellite radio tuner, you also have to pay an ongoing monthly fee to use the service. It’s similar to cable and satellite television in that way, and that similarity extends to the realm of satellite radio subscription and programming packages.

The main difference is that where you have a couple different options for premium television providers, there’s only one game in town when it comes to satellite radio: SiriusXM.

Sirius XM Radio was formed in 2008 when Sirius Satellite Radio acquired XM Satellite Radio, and while non-compatible hardware is still sold under both brand names, and the combined SiriusXM brand, channel lineups, programming packages, and subscription fees are the same for both services.

Howard Stern made waves in 2004 when he announced an intention to move his show from terrestrial radio to the Sirius satellite radio network, and a spate of additional celebrities and sports networks followed suit, which served to differentiate Sirius and XM.

Today, nearly all of those programs are available on both networks. However, there are some programming differences between the lower subscription tiers.

All prices and subscription options were obtained from SiriusXM, but plan availability and prices change from time to time. Please contact SiriusXM for current tiers, pricing, and programming availability before purchasing any hardware.

Sirius Satellite Radio Programming Packages and Subscription Tiers

Sirius offers three main subscription tiers, but you can also create your own ala carte subscription, or choose a specialized package that includes sports, news, or other types of content.

The main Sirius subscription tiers are:

  • Sirius Mostly Music ($10.99)
  • Sirius Select ($16.99)
  • Sirius All Access ($21.99)

Other programming packages include:

  • Sirius News, Sports, and Talk ($10.99)
  • Sirius Select Family Friendly ($15.99)
  • Sirius All Access Family Friendly ($20.99)
  • Sirius Ala Carte ($9.99+)
  • Sirius Ala Carte Gold ($17.99)

You can also obtain current channel lineup information and subscription prices directly from SiriusXM.

XM Satellite Radio Programming Packages and Subscription Tiers

XM also offers three main subscription tiers, additional programming packages, and ala carte options. The plans are all named and priced the same as Sirius plans, but they don’t necessarily contain the exact same programming.

The main XM Satellite Radio subscription tiers are:

  • XM Mostly Music ($10.99)
  • XM Select ($16.99)
  • XM All Access ($21.99)

Other programming options include:

  • XM News, Sports, and Talk ($10.99)
  • XM Select Family Friendly ($15.99)
  • XM All Access Family Friendly ($20.99)
  • XM Ala Carte ($9.99+)
  • Sirius Ala Carte Gold ($17.99)

SiriusXM Outside the Car

In addition to satellite radio, you can also stream all of your favorite SiriusXM content on your phone, computer, or other internet-connected device. Here are the available plans:

  • SiriusXM Essential ($8.00)
  • Sirius XM Premier (13.00)

These plans are available as add-ons to your existing Sirius or XM subscription, or standalone if you don't have a satellite radio in your car. They both allow you to stream over the internet at home or on the go, and they both include ad-free music, news, talk, entertainment, sports, and comedy.

SiriusXM Premier adds some premium features like two dedicated Howard Stern channels, access to SiriusXM streaming video, and both NHL and NCAA content.

MiRGE and SiriusXM Subscriptions

MiRGE radios are capable of receiving and decoding both Sirius and XM broadcasts, which means you can access everything that Sirius and XM have to offer (aside from "XTRA" channels) with these units.

The main subscription tiers are:

  • SiriusXM All-In-One ($19.99)
  • SiriusXM All-In-One Family-Friendly ($17.99)

The final type of subscription requires a SiriusXM-branded radio. These units are capable of receiving “XTRA” channels, which include music, talk and entertainment, sports, and world music channels.

Can You Pay Less For SiriusXM Satellite Radio?

While packages for both Sirius and XM are similar in price and programming, there are a few ways to get the costs down. One is to purchase a used satellite radio that is tied to a lifetime subscription. While these subscriptions are no longer offered, you may be able to find an older unit with a lifetime subscription that still works.

If you bought a lifetime subscription at some time in the past, but you now have a brand new satellite radio, you also have the option to transfer the subscription. SiriusXM does charge a fee for this, but that is somewhat mitigated by the fact that you won't have to pay for a subscription going forward.

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