On October 29, Sirius XM satellite radio listeners first caught wind of a significant channel realignment that sparked more than 100 disgruntled subscribers to offer comments in what has become RBR+TVBR‘s most-read story in its online history.
Today, those moves occurred, resulting in the debut of a channel devoted to “Pop Hits from the 2000s” and a tweak of another channel to “Bright Pop Hits” with a decidedly 1970s-era Mellow Rock feel.
At the same time, Sirius XM has unveiled what it is calling the “most holiday music channels ever.” That said, 10 of the 19 choices are only available on the SXM app.
With 50s on 5 and 60s on 6 making their shifts to Channel 72 and Channel 73, respectively, Channel 5 is now the home of “The Pulse,” offering “Today’s Adult Hits” in what is largely a Hot Adult Contemporary format. On Channel 6 is acoustic/singer-songwriter channel “The Coffee House.”
Now on Channel 11: The 10s Spot, a nod to Sirius XM’s desire to attract younger audiences by creating a place specifically for pop hits from the 2010s.
Then, there’s an outright format flip: A rarity for Sirius XM. Until now, “The Blend” was focused on “light pop that’s cool and familiar, featuring songs from pop’s biggest stars.” Among them: Elton John, Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Billy Joel, Ed Sheeran, P!nk, Phil Collins and Train.
Now, fortysomething women are liking texting their Moms to give the station a listen. In the 11am hour, songs included “All of You” by Diana Ross & Julio Iglesias and The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.” Instead of Adele there is Anne Murray. The most upbeat song heard? “Sweet Freedom” by Michael McDonald.
It suggests that “Love,” which has been moved online from a channel that was preempted for “Yacht Rock” and Christmas programming in the winter, is being merged into The Blend.
Meanwhile, Christmas has arrived at Sirius XM, as it debuts some 19 ad-free channels. There are two new choices for 2021: “Holiday Instrumentals” and “Noël Incontournable,” featuring Francophone Christmas classics and contemporary holiday hits of interest to subscribers in Canada.
But, you can’t hear those channels on a Sirius XM receiver; they’re only on the SXM app.
The same goes for Holiday Chill-Out; Rockin’ Xmas; 70s/80s Holidays; Jazz Holidays; Jolly Christmas; Mannheim Steamroller Channel; and the Spanish-language Navidad.
For Jewish listeners, the limited appearance of “Radio Hanukkah” returns between November 23 and December 6 to cover the holiday’s dates in 2021. However, it will, too, be only accessible via the SXM app.
What’s accessible via tuners?
Holly (available on the SXM App and via satellite on channel 105 through Dec. 26.)
Contemporary holiday hits featuring songs by Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, Pentatonix, Norah Jones, John Legend, Train, Lady A, Ariana Grande and more.
Holiday Traditions (available on the SXM App and via satellite on channel 71 through Dec. 26)
Traditional holiday recordings from the ‘40s through the ‘60s by artists such as Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Ray Conniff and Nat King Cole.
Hallmark Channel Radio (available on the SXM App through Dec. 26 and via satellite on channel 104 between Nov. 23 and Dec. 26)
Christmas music and carols that celebrate the joy of the season from such Hallmark stars as Candace Cameron Bure, Lacey Chabert, and Jonathan Bennett.
Holiday Soul (available on the SXM App and via satellite on channel 49 between Dec. 7 and Dec. 26)
Classic soul and Motown holiday music from the ’60s and ’70s, along with R&B holiday music from the last four decades.
Country Christmas (available on the SXM App and via satellite on channel 58 between Dec. 7 and Dec. 26)
Spanning the generations of country Christmas music, including Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and George Strait.
Christmas Spirit (available on the SXM App and via satellite on channel 63 between Dec. 7 and Dec. 26)
Christmas music and holiday favorites from Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) artists.
Holiday Pops (available on the SXM App and via satellite on channel 76 between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
Classical Christmas carols and holiday favorites performed by such artists as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Luciano Pavarotti, New York Philharmonic, King’s College Choir, Boston Pops and Thomas Hampson.
Acoustic Christmas (available on the SXM App and via satellite on channel 6 between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, pre-empting Coffee House)
New and classic holiday songs from well-known singer songwriters and bands like Jack Johnson, Sia, George Ezra, Train, Norah Jones, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, and The Lumineers.
Following the Christmas holiday, “New Year’s Nation” will take Channel 105 between Dec. 27 and January 3; it is already available on the SXM app.
“New Year’s Nation is custom curated to serve as your ultimate New Year’s celebration playlist powering your party with the best pop, rhythm, dance and hip-hop hits from across the nation to ring in 2022,” Sirius XM says.