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XM PUTS ONE-MILLIONTH RADIO IN A GM CAR

Really, We Just Counted Them All
With an off-the-hook party in Detroit, XM Satellite radio celebrated its 1 millionth factory-installed vehicle radio at General Motors headquarters on Monday. There was reportedly a nice cake and a wide selection of soft drinks.

GM offers the XM service as a free 90-day trial period in more than 40-models of cars. XM President Hugh Panero said that seven out of 10 drivers who go through the trial period end up purchasing subscriptions. Panero said that 50% of XM subscribers own radio through their cars, with the rest owning stand-alone systems.

GM Chevrolet division president Brent Dewar said XM is “probably one of the best non-product things we've put out to date.” He added that the system is helping build a sense of loyalty among Chevrolet buyers, who make up 50% of the XM Satellite subscribers on the road.

Currently, XM says it has 1.5 million subscribers, projecting out to 2.8 million by the end of the year and 20 million by 2010. XM launched its service in 2001. XM charges $9.99 per month for 120 music and talk satellite radio stations. It recently launched a regional weather and traffic service.

While Nipplegate fallout continues to hound terrestrial broadcasters, inducing Lenny Bruce-style paranoid rants from Howard Stern, because XM a subscription service, it is out of the fray. In addition, users can block stations or not sign up for stations they object to, such as the Playboy channel.

XM radios comes pre-packaged in select cars from GM and Honda. Both companies own a stake in XM.

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