Sirius XM Radio announced today that a free update to their SiriusXM Android app has been released. The company claims the new app, which can now be downloaded in the Google Play app marketplace, will give subscribers to their service more control over how to listen to SiriusXM content.
"This updated and enhanced SiriusXM Internet Radio App for Android, the top smartphone platform in the U.S., now gives current and future subscribers access to more programming, including more live sports play-by-play, and more control over when and where they listen to their favorite SiriusXM channels and programs," said Jim Meyer, President of Operations and Sales at SiriusXM. "We are pleased to bring these new and exciting features to our subscribers, and we will continue to evolve our SiriusXM Internet Radio offerings this year by adding greater functionality on smartphones, mobile devices and online."
The biggest change in this update is "Start Now" which allows subscribers to select and listen to content previously broadcast on many channels, up to 5 hours in the past. "Tune Start" will now automatically start a song from its beginning when tuning in to a station, and the app now allows users to pause live radio, replay a song or segment, and skip forward. In addition, the app now includes a "Show Finder," which is a programming guide that offers a complete list of programming up to a week ahead. Users can set reminder alerts for themselves using the "Show Finder."
SiriusXM claims the update, which includes a design overhaul for the app, is part of the rollout of what they are calling SiriusXM 2.0, a service they hope will span "hardware, software, audio, and data services." It is interesting to see companies whose business models have become outdated adapt to changing technologies. With satellite radio all but defunct, SiriusXM will have to compete with online radio models such as Pandora and Spotify, and these features seem to be a step in the right direction. Even so, to stand a chance the company will have to keep Howard Stern happy.
What do you think? Is SiriusXM on the right track to remain competitive? Should the company abandon its subscription model altogether? Leave a comment below and let me know.