The new entity, SXM Media, will handle ad sales across the three audio outlets in radio, streaming music and podcasting. Together, they reach 150 million listeners and represent the largest digital audio ad platform in North America, according to the official announcement of the move.
In addition to its three in-house brands, SXM Media will also be an exclusive advertising and sales representative for other companies like SoundCloud and NBCUniversal News Group. SXM will be the exclusive ad rep for NBC News and MSNBC podcasts, with additional sales rights to CNBC podcasts.
“SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher are each powerful brands, but bringing them together under the SXM Media umbrella bolsters our position as the premier audio entertainment leader and the largest digital audio advertising platform in North America,” SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz said. “SXM Media is driven by a world-class combined salesforce of digital and broadcast media pros working across music, talk, and podcasts who create unique new opportunities in the marketplace.”
The Interactive Advertising Bureau projected last summer that total podcast industry revenue in 2020 would rise by about 15% from 2019 levels, approaching $1 billion. The growth rate was slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, which curtailed listening as public transportation went quiet and lockdowns took effect. The IAB, which stages the podcast upfront, changed its timing this year, slotting it in May instead of its previous fall berth. The roster of 30 companies presenting virtually during this week’s upfront includes media companies like ViacomCBS and ESPN in addition to audio mainstays like NPR and iHeartMedia.
“Audio is experiencing a renaissance with a boom in premium content, spikes in listening, and innovative ad tech fueling the industry, and our powerful portfolio of brands puts us at the forefront of this moment,” said John Trimble, chief advertising revenue officer at SiriusXM.