If you’ve never had SiriusXM satellite radio, you might not be familiar with their station “’40s on 4.” It’s exactly what it sounds like: songs from the first half of this century that your grandparents or great-grandparents might sing along with. You might assume that this sort of station wouldn’t be popular enough in 2014 to prompt a public outcry when it’s taken away. You would be wrong.
Now, ’40s on 4 isn’t being taken away forever. SiriusXM is running a temporary channel that’s all Billy Joel, all the time, which sounds like a pretty great idea. The part of this plan that doesn’t sound so great to us was that they’re putting this station on channel 4 for its 3-month run. The ’40s on 4 programming isn’t gone: you can stream it on a smartphone or a computer.
Let’s be honest: most people have satellite radio for listening in the car, and many of the people who would be interested in a ’40s station probably don’t carry around iPhones that they could use to stream it. “Obviously, [streaming the station] does not work for most of us who listen to the radio while driving,” writes Lindsay, the reader who originally told us about this consumer uproar.
Of course, there are some young, tech-savvy fans of the station. They’re tech-savvy enough to write to Consumerist and take to Facebook in anger.
Here’s a small selection of posts from just the last 24 hours or so:
SiriusXM is staying on message: ’40s on 4 will be back in June, once the Billy Joel station’s 3-month run is over. They don’t seem to understand why it is that people subscribe to satellite radio in the first place, especially people who have bought devices for their elderly parents to enjoy classic music.
We contacted Sirius and asked for their comment on the situation: they haven’t contacted us back yet. We’ll update this post if they do.