In an oddly timed announcement considering all the confusion
surrounding the XM hearts Sirius affair
, XM Radio Canada is to introduce fees for the online contingent of its radio service. Previously, XM Radio Canada subscribers could access XM stations for free on a Mac or PC
: from September 1 this year, it'll cost new subscribers $9.99CAD per month, with existing subscribers having to pay $1CAD a month until September 1 2008 when the fees will increase to the full $9.99CAD a month. At that point, existing subscribers will either have to pay $22.98 a month for the same service that they currently get for $12.99, or lose the ability to access XM online, bringing whole new meaning to Bernard Shaw's phrase "Progress is impossible without change." It's worth noting that XM Satellite Radio in the US isn't the operator of XM Radio Canada: XM Radio Canada is in fact a fully owned subsidiary of Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (of which XMSR owns 23%) which owns an exclusive 15 year license to use the XM brand name. Hopefully none of the companies involved will feel the need to take out an ad campaign
over this "addition," although we would obviously sympathize if any angry canucks do.