An outfit that describes itself as “an innovative podcast and audio entertainment production studio” has completed a $12 million fundraising round, and this particular effort saw the nation’s lone satellite radio content creator and distributor emerge as the biggest dollar injector.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. on Monday (10/11) confirmed that it led a Series B fundraising round for Audio Up.
Founded by CEO Jared Gutstadt, Audio Up was founded in 2020 by the creator of the Jingle Punks creative music agency, Podcast Business Journal reports.
With the investment, Sirius XM SVP/Business Affairs and Programming Operations Andrew Moss is joining Audio Up’s Board of Directors.
And, thanks to the dollar dose from Sirius XM, it’s moved forward with the creation of a creative programming and strategic agreement with Audio Up.
It’s a significant development, as it brings Sirius XM further into the on-demand audio space. Under the agreement, Audio Up is expected to create new original scripted podcasts for Sirius XM and its owned audio platforms – which include the SXM App, Pandora and Stitcher. Audio Up will also collaborate with Sirius XM to develop new audio entertainment concepts and forge new promotional and distribution synergies across Sirius XM properties, the companies say.
Specifically, the agreement gives Sirius XM an exclusive “first-look” co-production option for new Audio Up original podcast concepts, with accompanying options for exclusive distribution across Sirius XM properties, in addition to exclusive rights to manage and sell advertising inventory and sponsorship in connection with any podcast produced for Sirius XM through its SXM Media combined sales organization.
Audio Up’s slate of original scripted audio entertainment includes offerings from recording artists Machine Gun Kelly, 24kGoldn, Miranda Lambert and Nelly, and actors including Jason Alexander and Gary Busey.
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,” Audio Up says.
“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 Sirius XM President/Chief Creative Officer Scott Greenstein. “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 podcast platform Stitcher and the inking of a series of 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.