In addition, XM used to broadcast local weather and traffic conditions in its larger markets. To receive satellite radio programming, a customer was required to purchase a receiver. With a service commitment, it was possible to get a simple receiver for free.Monthly packages started at US.49/month (changed since 2011 from US.95/month) with add-on "family" radios at US.99/month.XM Radio Online (XMRO), XM's Internet radio product, offered many of XM's music stations and could be accessed from any Internet connected Windows or Macintosh computer, or via the i Phone/i Pod Touch SIRIUS XM app.Best-of-Sirius was available on US accounts for an additional monthly fee. Channel quality was in one of two flavors, stereo music channels at 39 kbit/s and mono talk channels at 16 kbit/s using proprietary compression.Many subscribers have complained about the low quality of satellite radio sound.
Its service included 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional traffic and weather channels and 23 play-by-play sports channels.
XM channels were identified by Arbitron with the label "XM" (e.g., "XM32" for "The Bridge").
The company had its origins in the 1988 formation of the American Mobile Satellite Corporation (AMSC), a consortium of several organizations originally dedicated to satellite broadcasting of telephone, fax, and data signals.
In 1992, AMSC established a unit called the American Mobile Radio Corporation dedicated to developing a satellite-based digital radio service; this was spun off as XM Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc. The satellite service was officially launched on September 25, 2001. While the satellite receiver radio service was its primary product, XM operated several audio and data services, and advertising.
XM Satellite Radio (XM) was one of the three satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Holdings.It provided pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television.