SiriusXM announced on Monday, August 5 that starting Thursday, August 15, Kids Place Live (KPL) would move “down” the dial from Channel 78 to Channel 355. That meant the majority of vehicles would no longer receive the station. KPL would be restricted to computers and devices with streaming audio.
I got bored with Sesame Street and the Wiggles pretty early on when my son Ben was a toddler. Luckily there was SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, which was an oasis in the desert. We heard dozens, if not hundreds of new artists. And as soon as Ben was able to tell me his favorites, I was able to purchase and download specific songs and CDs (which generated revenue for those musicians).
By the time Ben was five, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of the “standard” kids music stuff that was promoted by his education programs—including Sesame Street and Barney (shudder). But he would also break into songs that his friends and classmates didn’t know. Every year, we’d compile CDs of original children’s music and distribute it to his friends for his birthday. That became a quarterly occurrence with the amount of music he consumed.
SiriusXM ostensibly has THREE stations for children, but two of them don’t really count. Kidz Bop is reworked versions of adult songs with the lyrics “dumbed down.” And Radio Disney is mostly the same pop tunes you can hear on dozens of their other channels, but with a heavier emphasis on artists discovered or signed to Disney labels.
Really, Kids Place Live is an oasis. SiriusXM bragged about adding “more than 100 streaming channels,” but they are burying the only channel with original content for children. In my mind, that’s SiriusXM practically admitting this is a shady move on their part. I’m certain that Kidz Bop isn’t moving because Sirius must have a lucrative financial deal.
I e-mailed Customer Care but only got a canned response that this move was being done because of “bandwidth limitations.” However, KPL fans mounted a 24-hour rally and saved the channel. SiriusXM couldn’t get away with marginalizing children’s music, which is an important part of their development and education. They made their voices heard for their children and the kids in their life. So bravo to all involved!