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Sirius Xm Vs Apple Music: How The Audio Giants Stack Up

With SiriusXM and Apple Music both vying for your listening time, you may be wondering how these audio titans compare.

If you’re short on time, here’s the key takeaway: SiriusXM offers ad-free satellite radio with exclusive talk, sports, and music stations while Apple Music provides on-demand streaming tied into the Apple ecosystem.

In this roughly 2,000 word guide, we’ll compare the key features, content, platforms, pricing, and user experience of SiriusXM and Apple Music to help you determine the best choice.

We’ll start with an overview of SiriusXM and Apple Music and what makes each option unique. We’ll then dig into their content libraries, exclusive programming, and how their radio and streaming approaches differ. Next, we’ll look at accessibility across devices and vehicles.

Finally, we’ll directly compare plans and pricing, user interfaces, and overall pros and cons of SiriusXM and Apple Music.

Introducing SiriusXM and Apple Music

Brief history and summary of SiriusXM

SiriusXM is a satellite radio company that offers a wide range of audio content, including music, sports, news, and talk shows. The company was formed in 2008 through the merger of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio.

SiriusXM has since become a dominant player in the audio entertainment industry, boasting a vast lineup of channels and a large subscriber base.

With exclusive content partnerships with popular artists and celebrities, SiriusXM has established itself as a go-to destination for music enthusiasts and radio lovers.


Overview of Apple Music and relationship with Apple

Apple Music, on the other hand, is a music streaming service launched by Apple in 2015. As one of the leading tech giants, Apple has leveraged its vast user base and industry influence to create a robust music platform.

Apple Music offers a vast library of songs, playlists, and curated content, along with exclusive releases and original shows. With seamless integration across Apple devices, Apple Music has become a popular choice for Apple users who want to enjoy their favorite tunes on the go.

How satellite radio compares to music streaming

When it comes to comparing SiriusXM and Apple Music, there are several factors to consider.

One major distinction is the method of content delivery. SiriusXM relies on satellite technology to broadcast its channels, while Apple Music is a streaming service that requires an internet connection.

This difference affects accessibility, as SiriusXM can be enjoyed in areas with limited internet coverage, such as during road trips.

Another aspect to consider is the content offering. While both platforms provide access to a vast library of music, SiriusXM goes beyond just music and offers a diverse range of programming, including sports, news, and talk shows.

This makes it a great option for those who enjoy a variety of audio content. On the other hand, Apple Music focuses primarily on music, with a strong emphasis on personalization and discovery through its curated playlists and recommendations.

Additionally, pricing is an important factor for many users. SiriusXM operates on a subscription-based model, with different pricing tiers based on the number of channels and features included. Apple Music, on the other hand, offers a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to its entire catalog of music.

The pricing structure may vary depending on the region and any current promotions.

Music, Talk, Sports, and Content

When it comes to music, talk, sports, and content, both Sirius XM and Apple Music offer a wide range of options for their users.

Let’s take a closer look at how these audio giants stack up in terms of their music library size, song selection, exclusive talk, comedy, news, and sports, as well as the difference between radio and on-demand streaming.

Music library size and song selection

Apple Music boasts an extensive music library with over 75 million songs available to stream. With such a vast collection, users can easily find their favorite tracks, discover new artists, and create personalized playlists.

On the other hand, Sirius XM offers a diverse array of music channels across various genres, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. While Sirius XM may not have the same level of individual song selection as Apple Music, its curated playlists and live DJ-hosted channels provide a unique listening experience.

Music library

Exclusive talk, comedy, news, and sports

Both Sirius XM and Apple Music offer exclusive content beyond just music.

Sirius XM is known for its extensive lineup of talk shows, comedy specials, news programs, and live sports coverage. From political discussions to stand-up comedy, users can enjoy a wide range of non-music content.

On the other hand, Apple Music has also been expanding its offerings in this area, with exclusive interviews, podcasts, and original shows. While Apple Music’s content library may not be as extensive as Sirius XM’s, it continues to grow and attract listeners with its unique offerings.

Comparing radio vs. on-demand streaming

One of the key differences between Sirius XM and Apple Music is the way they deliver content.

Sirius XM operates as a satellite radio service, providing users with a curated selection of channels that offer a mix of music, talk, sports, and more. This radio-style format allows users to simply tune in and enjoy the content without the need to create playlists or search for specific songs.

On the other hand, Apple Music offers on-demand streaming, giving users the freedom to choose and play any song or album from their vast music library. This level of control allows for a more personalized listening experience.

Platform and Device Accessibility

SiriusXM vehicle and radio support

SiriusXM, being one of the pioneers in satellite radio, has a wide range of vehicle and radio support. It is compatible with most vehicles on the market, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

Additionally, it can be accessed through various radio devices such as portable radios, home audio systems, and even some smart TVs. SiriusXM also offers a dedicated app that can be used on smartphones and tablets for on-the-go streaming.

Apple Music availability across iOS and other devices

Apple Music, on the other hand, is primarily designed for Apple devices. It is seamlessly integrated into iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Users can easily access Apple Music through the pre-installed Music app on their Apple devices.

However, Apple Music is also available on other platforms such as Android, Windows, and even some smart TVs. This allows non-Apple users to enjoy the music streaming service without the need for an Apple device.

Apple Music availability

Which service works with smart speakers?

Both SiriusXM and Apple Music are compatible with a wide range of smart speakers, making it convenient for users to enjoy their favorite music or radio shows hands-free.

SiriusXM works with popular smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Nest, and Sonos, allowing users to control their audio experience using voice commands.

Apple Music, on the other hand, is compatible with Apple’s own smart speaker, the HomePod, as well as other smart speakers that support Apple’s AirPlay technology.

It’s worth mentioning that the accessibility and compatibility of both services may vary depending on the specific device or platform.

It’s always a good idea to check the official websites of SiriusXM and Apple Music for the most up-to-date information regarding platform and device support.

Plan Options and Pricing

Breakdown of SiriusXM subscription tiers

When it comes to plan options and pricing, SiriusXM offers a variety of subscription tiers to cater to different needs. They have three main plans: Music Showcase, Music and Entertainment, and Platinum.

The SiriusXM Music Showcase plan is the most affordable option, offering over 100 channels of music, sports, news, and entertainment. It costs $13.99 per month and includes streaming access.

The SiriusXM Music and Entertainment plan is their premium offering, providing access to over 400 channels, and a combination if a wide variety of music and entertainment options. It costs $18.99 per month and includes streaming access and the ability to listen on multiple devices.

The SiriusXM Platinum plan is the most comprehensive plan offered by SiriusXM, for $23.99 per month. It includes all of the features of the Music & Entertainment plan, plus premium sports coverage, Howard Stern, and SiriusXM video.

Apple Music monthly, family, and annual plans

Apple Music, on the other hand, offers different types of plans, including individual, family, and annual options.

The Individual plan costs $9.99 per month and provides access to over 70 million songs, ad-free music, and personalized recommendations.

The Family plan is priced at $14.99 per month and allows up to six people to share the subscription. Each member gets their own personalized account and access to all of Apple Music’s features.

Apple Music also offers an Annual plan for those who prefer to pay upfront. It costs $99 per year, which saves you about 17% compared to the monthly subscription.

Ways to get discounts on both services

If you’re looking to save some money on your subscription, both SiriusXM and Apple Music offer ways to get discounts.

For SiriusXM, they often run promotions and special offers, especially for new subscribers. It’s worth checking their website or contacting their customer service to see if there are any ongoing deals.

Apple Music, on the other hand, offers a student discount, which allows eligible students to get a reduced monthly rate. They also have occasional promotions and bundles with other Apple products.

Additionally, both services may offer discounted rates if you choose to prepay for a longer period upfront.

User Experience Comparison

SiriusXM and Apple Music app interfaces

When it comes to the user interface, both SiriusXM and Apple Music have their own unique design and layout.

SiriusXM offers a clean and simple interface with easy-to-navigate menus and intuitive controls. On the other hand, Apple Music has a sleek and visually appealing interface that seamlessly integrates with the overall Apple ecosystem.

SiriusXM’s app interface allows users to easily browse through different channels, genres, and playlists. It provides a straightforward way to access live radio, on-demand content, and podcasts.

Apple Music, on the other hand, offers a more personalized experience with its “For You” section, which suggests music based on the user’s listening habits and preferences.

Ease of library management and personalization

When it comes to managing your music library and personalizing your listening experience, Apple Music takes the lead.

The app allows users to easily create playlists, add songs to their library, and organize their music in a seamless manner. It also offers a wide range of personalized recommendations based on the user’s listening history.

SiriusXM, on the other hand, focuses more on curated content rather than personalized recommendations. While it does offer some degree of customization, it may not be as extensive as Apple Music.

However, SiriusXM excels in providing a vast array of channels and exclusive content, making it a great choice for discovering new music and radio shows.

Offline and streaming performance

Both SiriusXM and Apple Music offer offline listening capabilities, allowing users to download their favorite songs and playlists for offline playback. However, Apple Music has an edge in terms of streaming performance.

With its extensive network infrastructure, Apple Music ensures smooth streaming and minimal buffering, even in areas with weak internet connectivity.

SiriusXM, on the other hand, relies on satellite technology for its radio broadcasts, which may result in occasional signal drops or interruptions in certain areas. However, it still provides a reliable streaming experience overall, especially for those who enjoy satellite radio.

listening to music

Overall usability and enjoyment

When it comes to usability and enjoyment, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both SiriusXM and Apple Music offer a wide range of features and content to cater to different tastes and preferences.

SiriusXM’s focus on curated content and exclusive channels make it a fantastic choice for those who enjoy a diverse range of music and radio shows.

On the other hand, Apple Music’s seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, extensive music library, and personalized recommendations make it a top choice for Apple users.


At the end of the day, choosing between SiriusXM and Apple Music comes down to your listening preferences and budget.

SiriusXM shines for variety, exclusive content, and seamless radio while Apple Music better suits users who want unlimited on-demand music and deep iOS integration.

Both services have strengths and weaknesses, so evaluate your own needs to decide if satellite radio or streaming is the best fit.

Ultimately, the decision between SiriusXM and Apple Music depends on your individual needs and preferences. It’s worth exploring both platforms to see which one aligns better with your music listening habits and overall user experience preferences.

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