XM Satellite Radio today announced that the first-ever AM/FM/XM satellite radio shipments began arriving in the United States in preparation for the company’s September 12 launch of its satellite radio service. The service features 100 digital- quality channels including 71 music channels, of which more than 30 are 100% commercial-free.
In addition, XM will offer 29 news, talk, sports and entertainment channels. The company expects that in December of this year, there will be 100,000 XM radios available at more than 6,000 electronics retailers nationwide ready for the important holiday season. The launch will be supported by a national multimedia advertising campaign that has already begun.
“We are on schedule for our launch in every area,” said Steve Cook, XM’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We are particularly pleased with the response from both retailers and radio manufacturers in support of the product launch which we truly believe will change the way people listen to radio.”
XM Radio anticipates that a broad array of 24 different models of XM radios will be available including models that can enable any existing car stereo to receive the XM service.The radio lineup includes the Pioneer Universal Receiver and the award-winning Sony “Plug and Play” radio that can be used in the car and home, and 16 new Pioneer and six Alpine AM/FM/XM car stereo systems. The devices are being distributed through major electronics retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, participating RadioShack dealers and franchisees, Good Guys and Crutchfield. Delphi Delco factory installed radio systems will roll out initially in GM Cadillac DeVilles and Sevilles beginning in November, expanding to more than 20 additional GM models next year.
The company will launch its service initially in Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego representing 8 million people on September 12, followed by the Southwest United States covering 55 million people on October 18, followed by the rest of the nation in November. XM’s Technology Group recently certified the lead markets for commercial readiness as well as all 24 models of XM radios for retail sales.
Soft Launch Ends; All Systems Go for Commercial Launch
In June, in preparation for commercial launch, the company initiated a “Soft Launch” with 100 users including employees, friends and family and strategic partners across 20 markets. Over the last three months, user feedback was incorporated into the commercial launch planning effort in the areas of radio development, technology and customer service. According toCook, “The feedback from the Soft Launch and ‘listen and ride’ demonstrations held in Dallas for Wall Street analysts were spectacular. XM is one of those products that once you experience it – it sells itself.”