XM (XMSR) is tuning in the cell phone sales channel.
The Washington, D.C., satellite radio broadcaster and Cingular, the
wireless venture, announced Thursday that users with special phones can receive 25 channels of programming for $10 a month.
The live radio feed will be delivered to subscribers by closely held mobile media broadcaster
. XM's deal comes about a year after rival
would offer 20 music channels for $7 a month.
Cingular says it has five multimedia phones that can be used to play the XM service. The XM feature is part of a broader music offering announced this week by Cingular.
The No. 1 wireless telco has partnered with
to offer subscribers music downloads and subscription services that can be transferred to phones through their PCs.
Unlike camera phones and photos, music represents a big revenue opportunity for all the industry players. Telcos can keep a little of the song sale transaction or through the monthly fee. Music services like Napster and XM suddenly have a new market. And phone makers like
have already seen strong demand for new music phones.
The challenge for the telcos is convincing users to buy songs through their stores instead of loading up their phone play lists from the music libraries on their PCs.
XM shares rose 16 cents to $11 and Sirius dropped a penny to $3.71 in early trading Thursday. And AT&T was up a dime to $33.89, while BellSouth was up 31 cents to $44.51.