People have been declaring satellite radio over since before the satellites even launched. Whether it was competitors like Pandora and smartphones, the internet coming to cars, terrestrial programmers refusing to believe people would pay for radio, the service has always had its detractors. However, none of that seems to matter, as SiriusXM ended their third quarter with almost 19.9 million subscribers, 1.3 million more than they had last year at this time. According to Digital Music News, they’ll reach the 20.1 million mark by the end of the year.
That’s impressive for a lot of reasons. First of all, the rise of Pandora and increase in radio due to smartphones isn’t something to be taken lightly. Online listening has blown up in the past few years, and all you need is a data plan for your phone to enjoy it, which most people already have. Secondly, this time last year, SiriusXM was mourning the loss of almost 500,000 subscribers for the first three quarters of the year. For a country that’s in a recession (or was until June of last year if you believe experts), to have more people willing to pay money for quality radio programming is encouraging. And with the sad, slow decline of record sales due to file sharing, it proves that people will still pay for music.