Once the pinnacle of radio innovation, SiriusXM has started falling by the wayside in recent years. Thanks to the rise of streaming apps like Spotify and competitors like iHeartRadio who have better social connections, Sirius has been struggling. Now, a major shakeup might help bring it back to relevance.
Google has confirmed that, starting next week, SiriusXM will be available on Google Assistant devices. This includes everything from the budget-friendly Home Mini to the impressive new Nest Hub Max. While this probably won’t influence the major industry players much, it could keep SiriusXM going.
Beginning next week, SiriusXM will be accessible on all Google Assistant devices in the U.S. and Canada. While users will need an account with the service to start listening, Google will be offering a three-month free trial to anyone that purchases a Nest smart speaker or display.
Fortunately, subscribers to any tier of SiriusXM will be able to access it through Google devices. That includes the new $8 per month Essential tier that the company announced earlier in 2019.
For now, users will only be able to access audio content on their smart devices. However, SiriusXM is planning to also include videos in the future. These will include everything from interviews to studio performances and more.
Until recently, it’s been rather hard to access SiriusXM anywhere other than in the car. Considering that the satellite radio service got its start by appealing to customers that were tired of choppy AM/FM radio stations, this made sense. The company (then called Sirius) first launched the service in 2002. With uncensored songs and no commercials, it was a huge success.
Back then, there was no such thing as smart devices. People either listened to music on the normal radio or on CDs. Now, almost 18 years later, the music-listening landscape looks drastically different. In an effort to keep up, the company launched Apple and Android apps to allow users to access their music on the go for an additional fee. However, this are finding it difficult to compete with smoother, more personalized platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.
Currently, SiriusXM is also accessible on Smart TVs, gaming consoles, select streaming devices and connected speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Fire TV. However, the addition of Google Assistant devices opens up a huge portion of the market for SiriusXM to reach. With a simple “Hey Google,” listeners will be able to fire up their favorite radio stations.
It remains to be seen whether this will sway current Google Assistant users of apps like Spotify and iHeartRadio from their habits. However, considering that almost half of SiriusXM’s 20 million subscribers are over the age of 45, making it available across Google’s easy-to-use products could be a winning move. It could help the company retain customers by decreasing their temptation to switch to another service that’s easier to access.