THE BLOG
11/25/2014 11:34 am ET Updated Jan 24, 2015

SiriusXM Charges an Extra (Hidden?) Fee for Music!

You know that things have gotten out of hand with companies charging extra fees on top of their generally promoted price when SiriusXM charges a separate fee of 13.9% for Music Royalties. Music is at the core of the service SiriusXM provides. What's next? Will dairies start charging a fee above the advertised price of milk to cover the costs of feeding cows? Perhaps a Bovine Maintenance Fee?

SiriusXM's fee is not readily apparent in their marketing on their website. Their "Our Most Popular Packages" and "How much does SiriusXM cost?" pages only mention "*Fees and taxes apply." in small print at the bottom of the page. The "Our Most Popular Packages" pages links to a 17 page customer agreement, which mentions the U.S. Music Royalty Fee on page 10 and doesn't even mention the amount or how it is calculated ("U.S. Music Royalty Fee: Subscription Packages which include music channels may be charged a U.S. Music Royalty Fee. For further details on how this fee is calculated see FAQs.") Only when searching for FAQs does one find info about their U.S. Music Royalty Fee that has the following letter. And even here, the amount of the fee is hidden in mouse print on the bottom of the page (pasted below).

They seem to have a clear intent of hiding the fact that they're charging their subscribers an additional 13.9% above the subscription price to cover the cost of music. I have filed a complaint with the FTC and hope they will take action to crack down on all hidden fees that are charging all customers for basic services provided to customers.

To our Valued Customers:

Important Notice: Effective January 5, 2015, there will be an increase of 1.4 percentage points in the U.S. Music Royalty Fee applied to most audio packages.* Your fee may vary depending on the package and plan term you have and the number of subscriptions on your account. For more information regarding the U.S. Music Royalty Fee, please refer to the links to the right on this page.

At SiriusXM we love the talented people that create the music we play. The U.S Music Royalty Fee is used to fund royalty payments to the music industry, which includes the writers and artists you hear on SiriusXM.

When it comes to bringing you the hottest, most exciting entertainment, our work is never done. We focus on expanding our programming to deliver even more A-list talent, variety and channels you won't hear anywhere else. The commercial-free music, plus sports, news, talk and entertainment you love is now even more exciting. Click below to see just what we mean:

We have received great feedback on the new channels we recently added to our lineup like TODAY Show Radio - which airs all day, only on SiriusXM. We also proudly present Joel Osteen Radio, rooted in the power of positive thinking with messages of inspiration. Plus we invite you to discover new channels covering everything from upbeat pop and R&B to current country hits. Click here for a custom channel guide.

We truly appreciate each and every one of our customers. And we will continue to deliver the best entertainment programming available. Thank you for being a SiriusXM listener.

*The U.S. Music Royalty Fee is currently 12.5%. Starting January 5, 2015, the U.S. Music Royalty Fee will change to 13.9% except for packages that are not charged the U.S. Music Royalty Fee, which include News, Sports & Talk, Traffic, Travel Link, Weather, Marine, Aviation, and Backseat TV.