AOL, XM Satellite Announce New Partnership

XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (XMSR) and America Online Inc. (AOL) are planning to add some of the satellite service's programming to AOL's radio offerings in a bid to bring a sample of paid radio to a wider audience, while boosting traffic at AOL's signature site.

Under the partnership announced Monday, XM and AOL will share content for their respective platforms.

Web surfers will be able to access 20 XM channels on AOL's radio section, along with its current roster of about 130 stations, for free. A new version of AOL's "premium" radio service will have 70 XM channels and be available for a monthly fee, which has not been set, XM spokesman David Butler said.

AOL subscribers will automatically receive the enhanced service.

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. The radio effort is to launch sometime during the summer.

To date, commercial-free satellite radio from XM Satellite, based in Washington D.C., and rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (SIRI) has been a subscription-based service that's not been widely available to sample. XM and Sirius charge $12.95 per month, with lower amounts available for multiyear contracts.

It is sold as an installation for car audio systems, standard equipment on some new car models, or as an add-on for higher-end auto rentals from companies such as Avis and Alamo. XM and Sirius offer only free, three-day trials through their Web sites.

XM has 3.8 million subscribers, who get 150 digital radio channels. AOL says its radio network has 10 million visitors monthly, and offers more than 200 stations.