Home Sirius XM Launches iPhone App without Stern, NFL, MLB

Sirius XM Launches iPhone App without Stern, NFL, MLB

After all that waiting, today should have been a day of rejoicing for SIRIUS XM subscribers. That’s because today, the satellite radio company finally launched their much-anticipated iPhone application (iTunes link). However, instead of being pleased, subscribers are sorely disappointed. It seems the app is more notable for what it is lacking than what it offers. What’s missing? Only some of Sirius XM’s best content: Howard Stern, NFL Play-by-Play, MLB Play-by-Play, and SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.

As expected, the SIRIUS XM application will deliver commercial-free streaming music, including a number of music channels, talk channels, and other exclusive programming, but the glaring exceptions to the content list include MLB, NFL, and Stern. The reasons for the missing content were not stated in the company’s press release, but it’s possible that there was some sort of mobile content rights issue that could not be worked out in time for the app’s launch. It’s doubtful that SIRIUS XM would just leave out some of their most popular programming by choice.

There are a couple of cool features in the application, though. For example, users can purchase songs heard on SIRIUS XM while they’re being played or just “tag” them for later purchase from the iTunes Store. It also offers a “Favorites” feature for storing your most-listened to stations as well as another feature called “Lookaround” which lets you scan what’s playing on all the channels. The app works over both Wi-Fi and 3G.

Although there is no extra fee for streaming SIRIUS XM over your iPhone or iPod Touch (the app itself is free), you do have to be a SIRIUS XM Internet Subscriber, an extra $2.99 per month on top of your monthly subscription fee. Alternately, if you’re not already a subscriber, you can sample the content for free then choose whether you want to subscribe to the company’s Premium Online service ($13/month).

Without some of the company’s better content, it doesn’t look like SIRIUS XM has as good of a shot as they could have had against other streaming music competitors like Last.fm, Slacker, or Pandora, all of which are free. Still, there’s something to be said for DJ-driven radio, as Jeff Scott of 148apps points out, but that’s ultimately going to be a personal opinion. And even if you agree with Jeff, the extra expense isn’t something a lot of people can justify in this economy.

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