Satellite radio veteran SiriusXM (SIRI 4.27%) just opened up its online media-streaming platform for free until May 15. New listeners and existing customers alike now have access to more than 300 SiriusXM stations, including premium-grade content usually limited to the company's Premier Streaming subscription, which normally costs $14 per month.
What's the deal?
The announcement was made by SiriusXM superstar Howard Stern, broadcasting from his home on SiriusXM channel 100. The Stream Free program is available in North America, accessible in a web browser at SiriusXM.com/streamfree and compatible with a variety of media-streaming apps on mobile devices and living-room media centers.
The company is also launching some new channels, starting with the #StayHome Radio feel-good music station and artist-focused channels for Dave Matthews Band and Billy Joel.
"In the days ahead, we hope it's a valuable source of information or diversion, a generous mix of fresh live content, and a source of companionship that comes from the hosts on our many shows and channels," said SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer in a statement.
The free streaming service requires a SiriusXM account, though new users won't be asked to provide a credit card at sign-up. When the program ends, you won't even need to remember to cancel.
The sign-up system comes with a few hiccups, though. Returning listeners like yours truly may end up with a normal three-month trial subscription instead, with credit card info collected along the way. Furthermore, the lack of credit card data means children might be able to sign up and access explicit content like Howard Stern's R-rated show. But a free service is a free service, and SiriusXM is offering a solid catalog of news, entertainment, and information, at no cost.