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XM ON TRACK

Satellite Radio to Meet Expectations
Snoop Dogg and David Bowie are fans. Are you?

XM Satellite Radio is up and running—better and faster than expected.

The company said it ended the first quarter with more subscribers than it had expected and is on track to meet expectations for the year.

XM said it had more than 76,000 total subscribers compared to its forecast of 70,000 at the end of the period ended March 31. XM said it remains on track to end the year with 350,000 subscribers, according to Reuters.

"XM added over 48,000 subscribers in the first quarter, exceeding its target by 15% outpacing most Wall Street analyst expectations," said Hugh Panero, XM's president and chief executive.

XM Satellite broadcasts 71 music channels and 29 information and entertainment channels through two satellites orbiting directly over the United States.

The company, which launched its service nationwide last November, competes with Sirius Satellite Radio, which started its service in four cities in February. Sirius said last week it plans to have nationwide service by July 1, one month ahead of schedule.

Panero said the majority of subscriber growth at XM so far has come from retail channels but it expects significant growth from the automotive sector in the second half of the year when XM radios will become available in new car models. General Motors has plans to offer XM radios on 23 models including the Buick, Chevrolet and Pontiac cars beginning this fall. It already offers XM in Cadillac Devilles and Sevilles. XM also has similar deals with GM affiliate Isuzu, Nissan and Volkswagen.

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