SiriusXM Holdings Inc., 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.