DirecTV Dumps Sirius XM To Save Dough and Latches on to Pale Imitator
While it's far from perfect, I have always found much to like on satellite radio, particularly what was put out by XM. Even after it merged with Sirius, there was still plenty to keep me listening for the adult album alternative and singer-songwriter tracks I gravitate to most often.
Given that only one of our cars -- the one I'm usually not driving -- has XM, I usually listened via DirecTV. Spectrum, The Loft, and The Coffeehouse were often on in the house. No more. A couple of weeks ago, DirecTV dumped SiriusXM for something called SonicTap, programmed by an outfit called DMX Music that, among other things, puts together music channels for cable systems.
DirecTV never said why it made the switch, so you can assume money was the overriding issue. It can't be because DMX is delivering a better product when just the opposite is the case. It's what happens when you have a computer program a channel instead of a person. Algorithms may work on Pandora, but DMX shows no signs it's invested in R&D to offer an intelligent music mix.
To wit: Spectrum is now called, stultifyingly enough, Adult Alternative. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.
The Loft, which was laden with a very deep playlist and quirky, compelling specialty shows from the likes of David Johansen and Lou Reed, along with New York radio legends Vin Scelsa and Meg Griffin, is now called Singer-Songwriter. Unfortunately, these singer-songwriters are usually heard on adult contemporary stations. Again, no clue.
As for The Coffeehouse, the channel is now called Coffeehouse Rock. But the lunkheads at DirecTV and DMX apparently never heard the channel, which is devoted mostly to acoustic performances and alternative versions of well-known tracks. It was the perfect accompaniment to reading a book chapter before bed. Now it is the aural equivalent of a double espresso rather than the soothing decaf it once was.
So, now I have a good excuse to turn off the TV a little sooner. Time to get reacquainted with the stereo and the CD collection. I'd rather DIY my music choices than DMX them any day.