SiriusXM acquires Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco podcast company for $150 million

SiriusXM Holdings, Inc. announced the acquisition of Team Coco today, the Conan O’Brien-led podcast network and digital media business. The $150 million deal (valuation first reported by The Wall Street Journal) will see the former NBC and TBS late-night host’s interview podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” along with ten other podcasts such as “Inside Conan,” “Why Won’t You Date Me?” with Nicole Byer, “Parks and Recollection,” and more.

Also, as part of the deal, Conan has entered into a five-year talent agreement with SiriusXM. Not only will he remain the host of his hit podcast, but he will also collaborate with the broadcasting company to create and executive a produce a new original Team Coco comedy channel for SiriusXM subscribers. Team Coco’s staff will join SiriusXM as well.

“Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” which launched in 2018 and now accounts for over two-thirds of the 16 million monthly downloads for all Team Coco podcasts, will continue to be available on other podcasting platforms (Stitcher, the SXM App, Pandora, etc.). The flagship podcast, developed with Stitcher’s Earwolf, is ranked as one of the top five searched-for podcasts and has won two Webby Awards.

Overall, the Team Coco podcast business has over 1 billion annual video views across YouTube and Facebook, an average of 180 million annual podcast downloads, and 17 million fans across social media platforms. In 2020, the company signed a first-look deal with Amazon’s Audible.

“When I started in television, my ultimate goal was to work my way up to radio,” said Conan O’Brien in a statement. “This new deal with SiriusXM builds on the great relationship that began several years ago with a team that is the standout in their field.”

The SiriusXM agreement also includes archives of “Conan” on TBS, live events, distribution of select videos from his podcast, and merchandise from the Team Coco brands. When the long-running late-night talk show “Conan” ended in 2021, Team Coco transitioned into an independent podcasting venture.

Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM, said, “We are thrilled that Conan remains committed to producing his incredibly successful podcast and will now expand his role into executive producing an exclusive Team Coco radio channel for SiriusXM. Conan has built an amazing brand and organization at Team Coco with a proven track record of finding and launching compelling and addictive podcasts. We look forward to continuing to grow the Team Coco brand.”

Amazon Music to overtake Pandora as No. 2 U.S. music streamer this year

According to estimates from Insider Intelligence (previously eMarketer), Amazon Music will surpass Pandora this year to become the music streamer with the second most number of users in the U.S. Notably, this study includes users on both paid and ad-supported plans for these services — so, while Apple Music has an estimated 38.2 million subscribers, compared to Amazon Music’s 52.6 million or Pandora’s 49.1 million, none of Apple’s subscribers are on a free, ad-supported plan (though they could, of course, be on a free trial).

Amazon Music is estimated to grow 5.3% year over year, the forecast claims, while Pandora has continued to lose users since 2017 — the SiriusXM-owned streamer’s user base is expected to decline by 6.7% in 2022. A representative from Pandora declined to comment on the new report, but said that Pandora is the leading ad-supported audio streaming service in the U.S. According to its most recent report, Pandora currently has 52.3 million users, down from 58.9 million the prior year.

And when it comes to paid subscribers, Pandora lags far behind its competitors, per Insider Intelligence estimates from last year. (Below).

Spotify remains the number one U.S. music streamer by a wide margin, with 180 million premium subscribers globally, and 406 million monthly active users across both paid and free plans. According to Spotify’s own reports, there are about 93.38 million active users in North America, including 28.8 million paid subscribers. Since Spotify’s numbers don’t narrow down subscriber numbers by country, it’s hard to directly compare the size of Pandora’s audience with Spotify’s audience, but Pandora’s market share has continued to decline. Pandora still made a gross profit of $743 million last year, up 30% from 2020.

As Amazon Music continues to grow, the product itself has seen some notable improvements. Amazon Music and Apple Music both unveiled lossless audio streaming last year for all subscribers, a feature that Spotify doesn’t have yet, and whose delay it can’t explain. Amazon has also tried to step up its podcast offerings, adding synchronized transcriptions to select podcasts. But Spotify’s podcast listenership continues to grow quickly, despite the platform’s controversial content decisions. With podcast industry acquisitions left and right, it’s clear that Spotify doesn’t want to loosen its grip on the streaming industry.

Sirius XM snags former Disney+ exec as its new head of product and technology

Sirius XM, home to the satellite radio business and streaming music app Pandora, is bringing on a new head of product and technology, as the company plans to expand its focus beyond the car to better compete with streaming rivals, like Spotify. The company this morning announced its hiring of former MLB and Disney exec Joseph Inzerillo as its new Chief Product and Technology Officer. He will begin his new role on Jan. 10, 2022.

Jim Cady, Sirius XM’s Chief Innovation Officer, who has been serving as Interim Head of Product Development, will be retiring after eight years with the company. He will work with Inzerillo through Feb. 2022 during the transition.

Prior to joining the audio entertainment company, Inzerillo was an Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Disney’s streaming arm, where he helped to oversee all aspects of that business, including the streaming, commerce, platform development, and globalization plans for Disney+, ESPN+. Star+ and Hulu. Inzerillo had first joined Disney in 2017 with its acquisition of BAMTech Media, where he had served as EVP and Chief Technology Officer.

Previously, Inzerillo had been CTO for Major League Baseball, including its flagship media companies MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network. In this role, he launched, the first over-the-top sports offering, “instant replay,” wireless connectivity in all 30 ballparks, and shaped MLB’s digital business. This ultimately led to the spinoff of its streaming technology platform, BAMTech Media, which he helped found.

Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images 

While not necessarily a household name, the BAMTech platform has powered big names in streaming, including HBO Now, WWE Network, Eurosport Player, Fox Sports, and the NHL.

At Sirius XM, the exec will be tasked with helping oversee the company’s Information Technology and Broadcast Infrasture and the team that builds and operates those platforms. In total, he will lead a team of 1,500+ engineers and product professionals across Sirius XM, Pandora, and Stitcher. He will also be in charge of Sirius XM’s product roadmap, satellite infrastructure, and its overall technology vision and innovation and will report directly to Sirius XM CEO Jennifer Witz.

The hire is a big win for Sirius XM which has been struggling to compete with Spotify and others in terms of consumer interest. Though the company delivered on its last earnings, its stock has lost 3% of its value over the last five years vs a 120% gain in Spotify during the same time, for example. In its most recent quarter, Sirius XM reported year-over-year revenue growth of 9% to reach $2.2 billion in its third quarter and a record 616,000 net new self-pay Sirius XM subscribers to its satellite radio business. At the end of Q3, Sirius XM had 34.1 million total subscribers, down from 34.3 million in the same quarter last year, but projected that by Q4, this year will be its biggest yet on subscriber growth since 2018.

Still, much of Sirius XM’s business is reliant on automaker partnerships and preinstalls, and catered to a workforce that spent a lot of time commuting to and from the office. The pandemic has reshaped how people work — now often from home — and autos come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrations that allow customers to easily use their own preferred streaming apps. Combined, these factors could make satellite radio a harder sell long-term, as its cross-platform experience — particularly on the mobile app side — is somewhat lacking.

The company’s 2018 $3.5 billion acquisition of Pandora hasn’t gone that well, either. The streaming app continues to lose traction with consumers, dropping to 52.6 million monthly active users in Q3 down from 55.1 million in Q2 and 58.6 million a year ago. Meanwhile, Sirius XM has invested in podcasting with its $325 million acquisition of Stitcher and another for Simplecast for analytics and distribution tools. And it’s pursued other initiatives to try to connect with consumers, like Pandora’s new SoundCloud station and its TikTok partnership.

Inzerillo’s hire could shake things up at the company allowing it to better capitalize on the products and services it offers.

“I am a long-time listener and huge fan of SiriusXM, and I could not be more excited to join this team,” said Inzerillo, in a statement. “Streaming and over-the-top offerings have revolutionized the entertainment industry – and audio is no exception. This opportunity is the culmination of all of my professional experiences over the last 30 years, and one I simply could not pass up. From the moment I accepted the role, my mind has been racing with ideas for how we can expand digital capabilities across SiriusXM’s business. Together, our team will develop a product and technology roadmap that will further differentiate SiriusXM and bring creative new entertainment options to consumers at scale.”

CEO Jennifer Witz also praised Inzerillo’s 30 years of digital media experience and hinted towards forthcoming product changes in a staff memo, noting:

With Joe’s wide breadth of experience in building and leading innovative digital platforms, I am confident that he will be instrumental in the development and evolution of our growth strategies across our entire suite of products. As a long-time listener, Joe is eager to come on board and work collaboratively with all of the top-notch talent we have at our Company. His excitement about our products and what the future holds is energizing, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish under Joe’s leadership of this expanded Product and Technology organization.



SiriusXM partners with Audio Up to develop new original podcasts

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.

Google hires former SiriusXM CPO/CTO to lead its Maps team

Almost exactly a year ago, Google announced a couple of leadership changes that saw Prabhakar Raghavan, who joined the company back in 2012, take over the lead of Search, Assistant and Maps. Now, sources familiar with the hiring tell us, the company has hired Christopher Phillips, who was previously the chief product and technology officer at SiriusXM, to lead its geo team, which is responsible for products like Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps Platform, the company’s enterprise business around these products. Google has confirmed his hire but declined to share any additional information. Phillips will officially join the company later this month.

Christopher Phillips

Image Credits: Christopher Phillips/LinkedIn

Phillips came to SiriusXM after the company acquired music service Pandora last year. Before the acquisition, he spent six years as Pandora’s CPO and head of Technology, a role he took after leading product and design for Amazon Music from 2012 to 2014 and executive roles at Workspeed and Intuit before that.

In his new role at Google, Phillips will lead both product and engineering for the Geo team and report directly to Raghavan, who will continue to oversee Search, Assistant, Geo, Commerce and Ads. Before last year’s leadership shuffle, Jen Fitzpatrick essentially played a similar role for the Geo team.

According to Search Engine Land, Dane Glasgow and Liz Reid became the leads for the Geo team after her departure. Glasgow has since departed Google and is now at Facebook, while Reid recently took on a new role to lead Google’s search experiences. That obviously left a bit of a vacuum, which Phillips will now fill.

While Phillips doesn’t have any direct experience in building geo products, he does bring with him extensive experience in managing product-oriented engineering teams. His hiring also comes at an interesting time for Google Maps, which only recently announced a number of major updates and which is becoming an increasingly important part of Google’s product portfolio.



SiriusXM partners with TikTok on a new music channel, Pandora Playlists, and more

SiriusXM is leaning into TikTok. The satellite radio company and Pandora parent today announced a partnership with the social video platform to power several new initiatives, including a TikTok channel on SiriusXM, hosted TikTok playlists on Pandora, and re-airings of Pandora LIVE events on TikTok.

The hosted playlists on Pandora are the first of the new initiatives to launch.

Starting today, popular TikTok creators will curate, host and promote their own Pandora playlists to their fans on TikTok, starting with Bella Poarch. The TikTok influencer, who now has 69.6 million followers, is best-known for her viral lip-sync video to “M to the B,” which blew up to become the most-liked video on TikTok. She also makes videos featuring singing, dancing, and gaming content, among other things, and this month released her first single, “Build a B*tch,” which has broken into Spotify’s U.S. and Global Top 50 charts.

As of the time of writing, Poarch’s TikTok announcing her playlists, launched 4 hours ago, has 187.6K likes and 1 million views.

Image Credits: SiriusXM

Other “TikTok Tastemakers,” as SiriusXM has dubbed them, will release their own playlists in the months to come, including Christian Shelton and Nick Tangorra.

In addition, Pandora users will be able to tune into the TikTok Hits Playlist at any time, which features popular and trending songs from TikTok.

Pandora is not the first music streamer to tap into TikTok’s influence for its own ends. Today, TikTok’s trends are driving songs up the Billboard charts and delivering Spotify streams as younger users look for their favorite TikTok songs on their preferred streaming music app. Spotify is now curating TikTok hits across editorial playlists like Viral Hits, big on the internet, Teen Beats, and others. Apple Music also got in on the TikTok action when it introduced 10 new playlists last year aimed at younger, Gen Z users. This included its own Viral Hits playlist, which pulls in top tracks from TikTok and other social media channels.

Among the other SiriusXM initiatives is the soon-to-launch TikTok Radio, a full-time music channel featuring tracks trending on TikTok which will be presented by TikTok creators, influencers and D.J.s. The channel will debut later this summer, and will stream across SiriusXM, including in vehicles as well as in the SiriusXM app for desktop, mobile and connected devices.

TikTok fans will also later be able to watch selected re-airings of Pandora’s original events series, Pandora LIVE — a continuation of Pandora’s live events that went virtual during the pandemic. Pandora LIVE events feature artists from across genres, including country, rock, pop, R&B and more, and have typically been re-aired, in part, the day after on SiriusXM.

Recently, Pandora LIVE celebrated Women’s History Month with a virtual event that included performances by Gwen Stefani and Jazmine Sullivan, which was re-aired on TikTok.

More Pandora LIVE events will soon do the same. SiriusXM says it will announce which events will re-air on TikTok throughout the year.

“We are excited to collaborate with TikTok to create new content that brings the vibrancy of the leading social networking service to life on live radio and our streaming platforms,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer, in a statement. “The effect TikTok has on music, and pop culture in general, is undeniable. Our platforms will provide a unique opportunity for TikTok creators to engage with our listeners with content experiences that have never been done before in audio,” he added.

@bellapoarch✨ Excited to help launch ##TikTokTastemakers on @pandora ✨ Listen exclusively on ##PandoraMusic

♬ Build a B*tch – Bella Poarch

SiriusXM’s move to partner more closely with TikTok could help it to attract a younger set of listeners and subscribers, who may follow their favorite fans over to Pandora to tune into their playlist content. However, it’s unable to benefit from the full impact that working with TikTok could bring as the integrations are split across its two services, instead of being focused on just one.

Plus, SiriusXM, like others, still faces the looming threat of Resso, TikTok owner ByteDance’s own music streaming app that could one day make its way to the U.S., as part of its global expansion efforts. It has the potential to more closely tie TikTok’s music discovery features with streaming, impacting demand for rival services.

For the time being, however, TikTok sees the potential in partnering with a U.S. music streamer.

“We are excited to work with SiriusXM on TikTok Radio and to bring TikTok creators to Pandora to make the trends, music, and creative influences that are playing such a defining role in modern culture even more accessible,” said TikTok’s Global Head of Music, Ole Obermann, in a statement. “We’re really excited to see this come to life and thank the SiriusXM team for being such an innovative and visionary collaborator,” he said.

Instreamatic, which inserts interactive voice ads into audio streams, raises $6.1M Series A round

Interactive voice advertising startup Instreamatic, which can insert interactive voice ads into an audio stream, has raised $6.1 million in a Series A funding led by Progress Ventures led the round, joined by Accomplice, and Google Assistant Investments.

SF-HQ’d Instreamatic lets brands that advertise through streaming music apps and podcasts (for instance) have interactive voice-based dialogues with consumers. So instead of an audio ad playing in a one-way experience (as all adverts currently do), the listener can talk to, and interact, with the ad.

For example, when an Instreamatic advert says “Hello! Need help sleeping?” the microphone on the device it’s playing on opens, and the listener can respond however they like. If they say “Yes” then the brand’s voice (perhaps it’s a mattress brand) will respond with “Then we will sing you a lullaby”. If the user doesn’t respond then the ad experience is over and the content resumes playing. There are also more complex versions of this scenario. The key is that Instreamatic knows what happened and can tailor future ads to match the listener’s past engagement. Here’s an example.

The company says its technology can understand the ‘intent and tone’ of consumers’ natural responses to take the next action.

The upshot is that this AI-fueled voice ad could be coming to an audio stream near you soon. And with audio exploding following the pandemic, the platform is likely to benefit.

CEO Stas Tushinskiy, CEO, Instreamatic said in a statement: “Consumers don’t like being fed annoyingly repetitive ads. Brands are under ever-increasing pressure to make those moments meaningful while supporting strong ROI demands. On the publisher side, audio and video platforms need a better way to prove their audiences and ad inventory deliver their promise to brands. Our voice AI infrastructure, deployed by brands such as IKEA, Infiniti, and HP and across platforms like Pandora and Gaana, is empirically demonstrating that conversational marketing benefits brands, consumers, and publishers alike.”

Instreamatic says its voice ads can reach an average of 12% engagement, with some campaigns reaching 19%. These figures are quite unusual for the online advertising industry – the average CTR of mobile advertising is 0.6%.

The company says that a recent campaign by Infiniti saw 5.5% of listeners who declined the offer in the first conversation ask to receive more information about the vehicle after the second (and more personalized) chat.

Instreamatic also says it can achieve what it calls ‘continuous dialogues’ with consumers, not dissimilar to an Alexa or Siri device.

Because of the platforms complexity, Instreamatic also says it can build up a profile of the user based on an individual consumer’s previous interactions with a brand, allowing it to customize future campaigns.

So far brands that have used the platform include Pandora, Salem Media, Gaana (the Indian streaming music service), as well as a recent deal with Universal Electronics to expand voice ads into the smart-TV industry. It is also working with Triton Digital, one of the larger audio ad networks.

“Consumer demand for audio and video content, and the ubiquity of smart devices delivering that content on-demand, continues to accelerate,” said Nick MacShane, the founding partner at Progress Ventures, the venture capital arm of Progress Partners, a full-service merchant bank. “What hasn’t caught up is how brands and publishers can effectively engage those audiences in the same medium and analytically prove the ROI of their audio and video platform ad spend.”
A competitor to Instreamatic is AdsWizz, which, instead of voice, allows users to shake their phones when they are interested in an ad. But its interactions are obviously, therefore, more limited.

According to Juniper Research, the voice-based ad market will grow to $19 billion in the U.S. by 2022, growing the market share from the $17 billion audio ad market and the $57 billion programmatic ad market. Voice assistant usage is booming. Some estimates put it at over at 3 billion right, and half of all searches are expected to be done via voice. Some 55% of teens use voice search daily.

As well as Tushinskiy, the Instreamatic team also includes cofounder Simon Dunlop (former CEO/Founder of Bookmate, a subscription-based reading and audiobook platform, and Zvuk; Victor Frumkin (co-founder at Zvuk, a mobile music streaming app in Eastern Europe and Bookmate); Ilya Lityuga, CTO, one of the original team members at RuTube; and Andy Whatley, U.S. radio industry veteran.

Stitcher’s podcasts arrive on Pandora with acquisition’s completion

SiriusXM today completed its previously announced $325 million acquisition of podcast platform Stitcher from E.W. Scripps, and has now launched Stitcher’s podcasts on Pandora across all tiers of the streaming service. The deal brings top Stitcher titles to Pandora, including Freakonomics Radio, My Favorite Murder, SuperSoul Conversations from the Oprah Winfrey Network, Office Ladies, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Literally! with Rob Lowe, LeVar Burton Reads, and WTF with Marc Maron, among others.

On Pandora, the podcasts will be indexed using the company’s proprietary Podcast Genome Project technology. This system leverages  automated technology — like natural language processing, collaborative filtering, and other machine learning approaches — then combines that with human curation to make personalized recommendations to podcast listeners on Pandora’s app.

The podcasts will also continue to be available in the Stitcher app in North America, the company says.

The Stitcher acquisition brought with it several key assets, including its own mobile listening app, which includes a premium tier of exclusives, and the Midroll Media network for podcast advertising. Stitcher also creates its own original programs and runs multiple content networks, via Earwolf.

That means SirusXM gained thousands of top podcasts with the deal’s closure. The company also now claims it has the “largest addressable audience in North America” across all categories of digital audio, including music, sports, talk, and podcasts thanks to the combination of satellite radio service SiriusXM, streaming app Pandora, and now Stitcher.

The company believes the deal will help it to attract more creators to its platform, thanks to the enhanced production, marketing, and distribution capabilities it offers, following the deal’s close. Advertisers, meanwhile, will be able to more precisely target podcasts for better ad efficiency, and will gain access to improved measurements, says SiriusXM.

In terms of Stitcher’s execs, CEO Erik Diehn will now report to Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM, who also oversees content at Pandora. Stitcher’s Chief Revenue Officer, Sarah van Mosel, will report directly to John Trimble, Chief Advertising Revenue Officer of SiriusXM.

“We are deepening our position in podcasting, the fastest-growing sector in digital audio, and with completion of this transaction, our vision is taking shape,” said SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer, in a statement about the deal’s completion. “With Stitcher and its varied assets, we are now a one-stop shop able to meet the needs of podcast creators, publishers and advertisers, while also providing listeners with access to great shows, series and programming.”

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted many consumer trends and accelerated others, podcasting still remains one of the fast-growing digital audio industries. Podcast downloads returned to pre-COVID levels this summer, and Spotify reported that podcast consumption more doubled in Q2 and nearly a quarter (21%) of its active users now listen to podcasts.

Stitcher was not SiriusXM’s first acquisition focused on podcasts or ad technologies. It also bought podcast management platform Simplecast this June, and before that, it acquired AdsWizz for $66.3 million to power Pandora’s advertising efforts.

Netflix partners with Sirius XM on new comedy channel, ‘Netflix is a Joke’

For the first time, Netflix is making its content available to another subscription media service. The company announced today it will bring segments from its popular stand-up specials, plus other original content, to Sirius XM’s new comedy station called “Netflix is a Joke,” beginning on April 15, 2019.

The station will be offered on Sirius XM’s Channel 93, and will offer highlights from Netflix stand-up specials, comedy talk shows, and other original programming, says Netflix.

This includes content from big names like Adam Sandler, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Gabriel Iglesias, Jerry Seinfeld, John Mulaney, Ken Jeong, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, Sebastian Maniscalco, Trevor Noah, Wanda Sykes, and others.

The channel will also introduce its own original daily show, filmed at Sirius XM’s new L.A. studios, where famous celebs and comedians will drop by to discuss pop culture and other hot topics of the day.

The deal with Sirius XM represents a notable milestone for Netflix, as it’s hasn’t before partnered with another subscription-based media company to reach a new audience with its content. It likely chose to do so in this case because Sirius XM isn’t a direct competitor. Plus, the radio platform could serve to promote Netflix’s programming to a valuable target demographic – those willing to pay for access to original content.

In addition to the clips and segments from Netflix shows, Sirius XM listeners will also be the first to hear new material from top comics, before their Netflix specials launch on the streaming service.

“Netflix Is A Joke Radio on SiriusXM will be an audio extension of our award-winning stand-up comedy on Netflix,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, in a statement. “We are thrilled to feature some of the greatest and funniest performers in the world with highlights from Netflix shows as well as original programming that further celebrates the art of comedy, and we are excited to do this in partnership with SiriusXM.”

The channel is now one of several comedy stations offered on Sirius XM, along with Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio Channel, Comedy Central Radio, Raw Dog Comedy, Jeff & Larry’s Comedy Roundup, and Sirius XM Comedy Greats, for example.

It also arrives shortly after Sirius XM announced another new station to capitalize on its Pandora merger: Pandora NOW, the first station to stream across both services.

Similarly, the new Netflix station will also stream content that’s available elsewhere. That’s a bit of a shift from Sirius XM’s earlier model where it focused largely on exclusives, to one that acknowledges the power another big-name brand can bring to its service.

“SiriusXM is delighted to become the audio home for Netflix’s blockbuster comedy programming,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM, in a release. “Netflix has established itself as the unrivaled video source for stand-up, attracting the biggest names in the industry as well as break-out newcomers, and we’re eager to deliver SiriusXM subscribers access to their star-studded library, new specials, and original live shows,” he added.

Pandora beats in Q3 with $417.6M in revenue, fast-growing subscription business

Streaming music service Pandora released its third quarter earnings today – the first since the news of its impending acquisition by SiriusXM, announced in September. The company reported a quickly growing subscription business for its paid products, Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium, which brought in $125.8 million in Q3 – a figure that’s up 49 percent year-over-year.

However, Pandora’s larger user base consists of those on its ad-supported free tier, whose revenues are not growing as quickly. The company pulled in $291.9 million in ad revenue, it said. That’s only up 6 percent year-over-year – despite the fact that Pandora’s acquisition of digital audio ad technology company AdsWizz completed in May and contributed to Pandora’s ad revenue this quarter.

Pandora also said the launch of new ad formats and a shift to higher CPM ad products aided in the ad revenue growth – modest it may be.

For the quarter, Pandora reported $417.6 million in total revenue for the quarter, a 16 percent year-over-year increase (excluding Australia, New Zealand and Ticketfly, and including AdsWizz). This beat the consensus estimate of $401.29 million.

Its non-GAAP net loss was $15.5 million, or $0.06 per share. This compared to $15.9 million net loss or $0.06 in the year-ago quarter. It beat analysts estimates of ($0.11) on this front.

In terms of listeners, Pandora added 784,000 subscribers in Q3, reaching approximately 6.8 million total subscribers for its paid products.

That’s still far, far smaller than rivals Apple Music and Spotify – the latter which also reported earnings this month, claiming 87 million premium customers versus Apple Music’s 50 million. By comparison, Pandora’s paying customer base is tiny, but its overall user base is not.

Pandora said its active users reached 68.8 million by the end of Q3, with total listener hours of 4.81 billion.

It also touted the success of its Premium Access product, which allows customers to unlock on-demand music for a session by watching video ads. The company said over 32 million listeners used Premium Access to date. However, the high use of the product compared with the small size of its paid customer base makes one wonder if Pandora is missing an opportunity to lure in potential subscribers by giving them this easy way to avoid paying through these ad views.

Because the Pandora / SiriusXM deal is still pending – it’s set to close in Q1 2019 – the company didn’t host an earnings call.

However, it did again reiterate the potential benefits of such a deal, including the $7.0 billion in expected 2018 revenue as a result, co-marketing opportunities, and the addition of SiriusXM’s exclusive content to boost Pandora’s non-music content business.

It also made note of the recent ad partnership deal with SoundCloud, which will increase Pandora’s U.S. ad audience reach to over 100 million.

“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made over the past year to reinvigorate Pandora,” said Roger Lynch, Pandora CEO, in a release. “A year ago, we committed to drive listener engagement through product innovation, expand our content, and increase distribution partnerships. We also prioritized making our ad tech capabilities a strategic advantage. And we executed. We launched new products like Premium Access, delivering on-demand functionality and improved listener engagement in our ad-supported tier; forged partnerships with leading brands such as T-Mobile, AT&T, Comcast, and Snap; and solidified our global leadership in digital audio advertising with the acquisition of AdsWizz and the launch of our programmatic audio marketplace.”

“Looking ahead, I couldn’t be more excited about Pandora joining forces with SiriusXM. A combined Pandora-SiriusXM will create the world’s largest audio entertainment company, bringing Pandora additional resources to accelerate growth and building on SiriusXM’s leadership in the car, subscription expertise, and unique content,” he added.

Pandora’s stock is up 2.3% in after hours trading.