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Sirius XM is releasing its iPhone app today. The app will be free to Sirius’ subscribers; other iPhone and iPod Touch users will have to pay $3 per month. But “some select programming, including MLB Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play, Nascar Radio, and Howard Stern, will not be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch.”

Sirius XM is giving iPhone users a free seven-day trial. After that, it’s charging a fee to access the content. Sirius is using AT&T’s Wi-Fi and data network for iPhone music delivery.

Sirius is struggling to maintain its subscriber base, reports MocoNews. Satellite radio subs pay an average $13 per month for the commercial-free radio service. The bankruptcy of Chrysler, which had a major contract with Sirius, and the demise of Circuit City in January didn’t help, says MocoNews.

Sirius XM has 19 million subs. To date (March 2009), Apple has sold 21.4 million iPhones with iPhone and iPod Touch devices totaling 37 million units.

Sirius on the iPhone must compete with other free apps that play the same songs as the Sirius XM app — with added benefit of personalization. They include; Pandora, Last.fm, Slacker, imeem, and many other mobile-music apps. All for free.

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