Jon Boroshok

College Instructor, PR/Marketing Comm. Specialist, and Journalist

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An Open Letter To SiriusXM

SiriusXMGonna write a little letterradio bruce

Gonna mail it to my local DJ

Dear SiriusXM:

This is an update to a letter I wrote three years ago. We need to talk.  I have the seven year itch, and when my current subscription runs out, I might not renew. After seven years as an add-on family member account and then on my own, I’m just not enjoying our relationship as much as I used to.

Some stations have become so predictable that your channels are bordering the lack of variety that inspired me to leave terrestrial radio. For example, if I’m listening to the  70s or 80s channel and hear a particular artist today – let’s use David Bowie as an example – I’m almost guaranteed to hear him several times that day, and then he may disappear for a few days. He might even be on two channels at the same time. On that same day, I’m likely to hear him on Classic Rewind and/or Classic Vinyl too. It’s as if a Program Director adds/removes a particular artist to/from the rotation of several stations on the same day.

Worse yet, the tracks played are clearly the most commercially viable, rather than a true “blast from the past.” The predictability and lack of variety makes SiriusXM close to iHeart Radio’s (Clear Channel’s) mind numbing focus group tested mediocrity, just without commercials.  Remind me what I’ve forgotten or show me something I never knew!

Little StevenDon’t get me wrong – some channels do offer great programming that I can’t get anywhere else. Underground Garage and E Street Radio keep me coming back for more. I appreciate these stations, although episodes of shows like The Michael Des Barres Program tend to rebroadcast a bit too much for my commute. I wish some of your programs would add more weekly segments. I also love hearing DJs I grew up listening to in the New York/New Jersey area. At times it feels like rock still lives at WNEW-FM.

I’m not suggesting that your “decades” stations or genre stations like The Blend need to delve into Deep Tracks territory, but since you don’t have to worry about button pushers lowering ratings or upsetting a sponsor, why limit your playlists to “commercially safe” tracks like iHeart Radio does?

About four years ago, SiriusXM trumpeted that the merger of Siruis and XM would bring more choices for the consumer. So far, I see less musical choices and less listening choices. I used to listen to you in my car and online. After the merger, SiriusXM limited how/where I could listen to satellite radio unless I wanted to pay extra to listen online.

In a few weeks, I’m going to have to make another choice – between SiriusXM or spending only $5.99 a month for Spotify’s student plan, or bringing my whole family and a few friends together under Spotify’s new Family Plan (we can share!). It’s considerably less expensive, and allows me to listen on my computer or mobile devices – in my car, home, or office.  I’m not budgeted for both. C’mon guys, win me back. Rock my world.