SiriusXM and Audio Up Inc. Enter Into Creative and Strategic Agreement to Develop New Original Scripted Podcasts and Audio Entertainment Concepts
NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- SiriusXM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI), the leading audio entertainment company in North America, announced today that its subsidiary, Sirius XM Radio Inc., has entered into a new creative programming and strategic agreement with Audio Up, an innovative podcast and audio entertainment production studio.
Under the agreement, Audio Up is expected to create new original scripted podcasts for SiriusXM and its owned audio platforms - which include the SXM App, Pandora, and Stitcher - while also collaborating with SiriusXM to develop new audio entertainment concepts and forge new promotional and distribution synergies across SiriusXM properties, furthering SiriusXM’s place as a leader in podcast hosting, production, distribution, analytics, and monetization.
The agreement gives SiriusXM an exclusive “first-look” co-production option for new Audio Up original podcast concepts, with accompanying options for exclusive distribution across SiriusXM properties, as well as exclusive rights to manage and sell advertising inventory and sponsorship in connection with any podcast produced for SiriusXM through its SXM Media combined sales organization.
In addition, Audio Up announced today that it has completed a $12 million Series B funding round led by SiriusXM. Andrew Moss, SiriusXM’s Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and Programming Operations, has also joined the Board of Directors of Audio Up.
Audio Up, established in 2020 by Jared Gutstadt, creator of the Jingle Punks creative music agency and Adweek’s 2020 Podcast Innovator and Producer of the Year, is a podcast content production studio that has built a slate of distinctive, original scripted audio entertainment featuring marquee names across music (Machine Gun Kelly, 24kGoldn, Miranda Lambert, Nelly), Hollywood (Anthony Anderson, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Alexander, Gary Busey), publishing (James Ellroy, Stephen King), and more.
Forthcoming new Audio Up original podcast series include The Playboy Interview, which presents teleplay-type reenactments of some of the most iconic Playboy Interview conversations in history, featuring Taye Diggs as Muhammad Ali, Rosanna Arquette as Betty Friedan, Gina Gershon as Oriana Fallaci, among others.
A variety of original podcasts from Audio Up’s back catalog will also be re-presented across the SXM App, Pandora, and Stitcher, including:
- Halloween in Hell: A first-of-its-kind, 4-part scripted music/horror mini-series set in a fictitious satanic reality show, featuring multi-platinum artists Machine Gun Kelly and 24kGoldn. Other shows in Audio Up’s hit “In Hell” podcast franchise include Valentine’s Day in Hell and Prom in Hell.
- The Ballad of Uncle Drank: A dark-edged musical comedy starring country hip-hop superstar Nelly and Hollywood legends Gary Busey and Luke Wilson that tells the tragi-comic story of fictional “beach-country” singer Uncle Drank (Busey), with an original soundtrack on Warner Records featuring songs from Nelly, Blanco Brown and others from the country music realm.
- Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn: A scripted audio docu-drama starring Lance Bass (who also produces, alongside Oscar-winner Michael Sugar), and Jason Alexander as Mel Haber, the legendary 70s-era Palm Springs hotelier who brought glitz and glamour to the desert, attracting a slew of iconic regular guests including Frank Sinatra, Liz Taylor, and Howard Hughes.
- Sonic Leap: The completely made-up backstory of real-life rock act “Hero the Band” – four Atlanta-based fraternal brothers who get sent back to 1985 to “change their future and the future of music.” Actor Anthony Anderson makes his podcast acting debut in this nostalgic scripted musical series. Rap star Trippie Redd co-stars and contributes music. The series unlocks the debut album from the Atlanta-based band, to be released on Audio Up Records.
- Make It Up as We Go: The first-ever scripted country podcast musical, which tells the story of an ambitious young female singer (portrayed by series co-creator Scarlett Burke, who also contributes original music) who heads to Nashville’s male-dominated country hit factory to make her fame. Executive-produced by Miranda Lambert, who plays herself in the series. SiriusXM will re-distribute Season 1 and premiere the forthcoming 2nd season featuring Garrett Hedlund and award-winning Nashville songwriter Liz Rose.
“Podcasts have only scratched the surface of their potential as a powerful driver for discovery, and an entertainment medium with virtually no creative boundaries,” said Audio Up CEO and Founder, Jared Gutstadt. “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.”
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, and exploring new possibilities for original scripted, podcasts and branded audio content opportunities for advertisers.
“Whether it’s inventing a new breed of boundary-breaking original podcasts or developing innovative audio concepts that let brands and creators connect with listeners in new ways, Jared and Audio Up have become the place where talent meets technology,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Creative Officer of SiriusXM. “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.”
The agreement follows SiriusXM’s acquisition of leading podcast platform Stitcher and its execution of several high-profile exclusive podcast content deals, including the acquisition of Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible podcast and the launch of Seth Rogen’s original podcast series, Storytime With Seth Rogen.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the leading audio entertainment company in North America, and the premier programmer and platform for subscription and digital advertising-supported audio products. SiriusXM’s platforms collectively reach approximately 150 million listeners, the largest digital audio audience across paid and free tiers in North America, and deliver music, sports, talk, news, comedy, entertainment and podcasts. Pandora, a subsidiary of SiriusXM, is the largest ad-supported audio entertainment streaming service in the U.S. SiriusXM’s subsidiaries Stitcher, Simplecast and AdsWizz make it a leader in podcast hosting, production, distribution, analytics and monetization. The Company’s advertising sales organization, which operates as SXM Media, leverages its scale, cross-platform sales organization and ad tech capabilities to deliver results for audio creators and advertisers. SiriusXM, through Sirius XM Canada Holdings, Inc., also offers satellite radio and audio entertainment in Canada. In addition to its audio entertainment businesses, SiriusXM offers connected vehicle services to automakers. For more about SiriusXM, please go to: www.siriusxm.com.
About Audio Up
Audio Up Media is a podcast content production studio, housing a world of infinite, audio-based properties. Headed by Audio Up CEO and Adweek’s 2020 Podcast Innovator of the Year and Podcast Producer of the Year recipient, Jared Gutstadt (formerly of the Jingle Punks), Audio Up is building an ecosystem of premium entertainment content within the music and audio space. From fictional scripted podcasts, which include a Marvel-like universe of musicals, where the records themselves become the story foundation, to one-on-one interview formats, Audio Up’s goal is to create a new and innovative form of IP. They are bringing audio blockbusters to life and taking this media from black and white, into technicolor. Current properties include the riveting top 20 crime podcast Where The Bodies Are Buried, Michael Cohen’s new chart-topping podcast Mea Culpa, and recent Webby honoree in Podcasts: Interview/Talk Show, Going to Bed with Garcelle with Garcelle Beauvais. Scripted projects include 2021 Webby nominee Make It Up As We Go with Scarlett Burke, Miranda Lambert, Lindsay Ell and other huge country entertainment; recent Webby honoree for Best Limited Entertainment Series Podcast Halloween in Hell with Machine Gun Kelly, 24kGoldn and iann dior; and Strawberry Spring, the first-ever adaptation of the classic short story by Stephen King, and current number one trending podcast globally, according to charitable, starring Garrett Hedlund and Milo Ventimiglia.
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SOURCE Sirius XM Holdings Inc.