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After polling its growing subscriber base on what types of content they would like to hear, XM Satellite Radio said it's expanding its programming offerings.

In August, the satellite radio service will introduce an audio books and radio drama channel, a radio classics channel, as well as channels dedicated to electronica, folk, easy listening, neo soul and urban hip hop. XM also will offer its first premium radio service, Playboy Radio, which will sell for $2.99 a month beginning Sept. 3.

During a conference call Tuesday, XM executives said they expect the company's customer count to climb to 200,000 during the third quarter. The service is on track to meet its year-end subscriber goal of 350,000, they reiterated.

During the second quarter, the satellite radio company added 60,476 subscribers, taking its total to 136,718. One executive said a quarter of the additions came from small, independent retailers. Bigger national chains, including Wal-Mart and RadioShack, also are selling a lot of XM product, the company said.

XM rolled out its service in select markets in September, and went national before the close of 2001.

The second quarter results didn't do anything for XM on Wall Street. The company's shares closed down $1.25 to $4. Sirius Satellite Radio, which has been the subject of tough analyst scrutiny recently, fell to nearly $2 a share during trading Tuesday.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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Glad to see they're putting on an easy listening channel. They had originally planned one but dropped the idea well before launch time. It's good to see they're planning to serve the 45+ demographic better (Unlike commercial FM radio). The lack of an EZ channel is one of the major reasons why I hadn't even considered XM or Sirius for mobile listening up to now. However, there's no way I'll give up my DMX for at-home listening, as nobody comes close to approaching their musical variety.
 
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