SiriusXM is partnering with audio entertainment production studio Audio Up to develop new original scripted podcasts. The two companies have entered into a creative programming and strategic agreement, under which Audio Up is expected to create new podcasts for SiriusXM and its platforms, including the SXM app, Pandora and Sticher.
Audio Up, which was established in 2020, is a podcast content production studio that has created a slate of original scripted audio entertainment featuring marquee names across music, Hollywood and publishing, including Machine Gun Kelly, Garrett Hedlund and Stephen King.
The agreement gives SiriusXM an exclusive first-look option for new Audio Up original podcast concepts and exclusive rights to manage and sell advertising inventory in connection with any podcast produced for SiriusXM. Audio Up is expected to be an additional creative driver for SiriusXM in connecting artists, labels, brands, and creators of all types in developing new audio entertainment programming across SiriusXM channels.
Audio Up also announced today that it has completed a $12 million Series B funding round led by SiriusXM. Further, Andrew Moss, SiriusXM's senior vice president of business affairs and programming operations, is joining the board of directors of Audio Up.
"Audio Up is known for creating podcasts that combine music, entertainment, and rich storytelling to create bold new listening experiences, and we're thrilled to welcome them to our extended SiriusXM family," said Scott Greenstein, the president and chief creative officer of SiriusXM, in a press release.
A variety of original podcasts from Audio Up's back catalog will also be represented across the SXM app, Pandora and Sticher, including Halloween in Hell, The Ballad of Uncle Drank, Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn, Sonic Leap and Make It Up as We Go.
"With the vast reach and wide diversity of listeners that SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher together represent, we not only have a massive new multi-platform outlet for our original programming, but in SiriusXM we have a creative ally who shares our ambitions to keep pushing podcasting forward," said Audio Up CEO and founder, Jared Gutstadt, in a statement.
The agreement with Audio Up follows SiriusXM's $325 million acquisition of Stitcher last year. The deal meant that thousands of podcasts moved to the SiriusXM roster, after which the company said it now had the "the largest addressable audience" in the United States for digital audio, including music, sports, talk and podcasts, covering 150 million listeners. It has also tried to differentiate Pandora from competitors by offering multiple pricing tiers and unique show formats, like Pandora Stories, aided by SiriusXM's guests.
SiriusXM's new partnership with Audio Up will further its investments in podcasting and help it continue to compete with others in the audio space, as numerous companies are also looking to expand their podcast offerings. For instance, Spotify and iHeartMedia have made notable acquisitions to acquire original podcasting content, as well as tools for podcasters to help run their businesses. Additionally, Apple is also investing in podcasts and recently made Apple Podcasts Subscriptions live across more than 170 countries and regions.