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SiriusXM acquires 99% Invisible Inc.

Emulating Spotify and The New York Times, and furthering an ongoing era of podcast consolidation, SiriusXM has acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the owner of the venerable 99% Invisible podcast and its spinoffs. The podcast was launched by host Roman Mars in 2010, which could be considered the Middle Ages of podcasting — an era between the rosy founding days of a new media category and the modern resurgence which started with NPR’s Serial in 2014. Click for details. Continue Reading

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ART19 hires David Murray from Stitcher as new CFO

In a new demonstration of ART19’s history of using Stitcher as a fertile executive hunting ground, the podcasting technology and monetization company has hired David Murray as its new CFO. (Click through for a timeline of acquisitions and executives at Stitcher, Midroll, Scripps, ART19, and SiriusXM). Murray will help lead ART19’s expansion from pure SaaS business into a full-fledged media company. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM closes Stitcher: 150M addressable audience, new lines of reporting, Pandora gets more podcasts

SiriusXM has closed its acquisition of Stitcher, three months after the July announcement that the satellite giant would buy the pioneering podcast company. Stitcher joins Pandora as a wholly-owned Sirius company. SiriusXM also has an exclusive ad sales partnership with Soundcloud. Today’s announcement puts the combined audience at 150-million listeners, and calls that reach “the largest addressable audience in North America across all categories of digital audio – music, sports, talk, and podcasts.” Continue Reading

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SiriusXM executive changes as Jim Meyer steps down — new CEO and CFO incoming

On December 31 SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer will leave the company. Replacing him will be Jennifer C. Witz, currently Director of Sales. Simultaneously, Sirius CFO David J. Frear will step away, his role to be filled by Sean Sullivan, currently CFO of AMC Networks. Meyer has been CEO for eight years, overseeing the acquisitions of Pandora, Stitcher, and Simplecast. Continue Reading

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Pandora is part of SiriusXM’s NFL 2020 coverage plan, and sponsor pitch

Continuing the cross-channel programming and monetization which has been part of the SiriusXM/Pandora merger from the start, a pR is circulating today which advertises the sponsorship opportunities around the upcoming NFL 2020 season, which will be assertively covered by both platforms. Pandora will carry some curated analysis originating on the SiriusXM NFL Channel, and also program game-time music playlists. Continue Reading

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Pandora launches two new “Thumbs” playlists, one of them for SiriusXM broadcast

In an example of SiriusXM’s cross-platform strategies, the satellite company will broadcast one of Pandora’s new weekly “Thumb” playlists. Alongside that announcement Pandora is also pushing a top-100 playlist to be refreshed each week. A “Thumb” playlist is informed by Pandora users’ thumb-up actions on individual tracks. The company takes the entire thumb-up database across all listeners during the week, and makes a top-100 list out of it. Using the same method, a top-20 list is also manufactured and is broadcast on the Pandora Now channel on siriusXM. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM: Streaming, acquisitions, and the uncertainty of podcasting

In its recent Q2 earnings call, Sirius XM discussed streaming, its multiple acquisitions, and podcasting in some detail. Remarks about podcasting are quite interesting, somewhat shading the industry as young and largely immature, while evangelizing the production and marketing power of SiriusXM. Click through for many quotes. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM earnings: Cost of acquisitions (Stitcher; Simplecast)

SiriusXM held its Q2 earnings call, during which the cost of the recently acquired Stitcher was revealed — it is $265-million. Buying Simplecast cost the satellite company $28-million. The earnings call also reminded investors of a February SoundCloud investment of $75-million. On the financial side, Sirius subscription revenue notched up a bit from the same quarter in 2019.
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Scripps sells Stitcher to SiriusXM: Confirmed by both companies

What was previously a Rumor Fact(ory) item is today finalized and confirmed: SiriusXM is buying Stitcher from Scripps. We received press releases from both SiriusXM (via the PR office of subsidiary Pandora) and E.W.Scripps. From Scripps, the news is about that company’s profitable investment in Stitcher over five years. for sirius, the vision gets big, fast, and the company isn’t shy about claiming preeminence in podcasting. Continue Reading

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Jeff Umbro: Digging into the New SiriusXM

by Jeff Umbro

RAIN News welcomes Jeff Umbro in his first weekly appearance as guest columnist. In this edition, he offers in-depth analysis of siriusXM’s pending acquisition of Stitcher, and covers other podcasting news as well. Jeff is CEO of the Podglomerate podcast network. Click through for more details about Jeff, and of course to read the column. Continue Reading