Some 1.6 million Americans now subscribe to digital satellite radio services.

The figure was released this week by Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, the two rival operators in the market. As of the end of 2003, XM had 1.36 million customers, while Sirius had 261,000.

Launched in 2001, XM is growing rapidly. It put on 430,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2003 and expects to reach 2.8m by the end of this year. Sirius, which hit the airwaves in 2002, added over 100,000 customers in Q4 and is targeting 760,000 in twelve months' time.

As of February, XM will emulate Sirius in dropping commercials from all its music stations.

Data sourced from: (US); additional content by WARC staff