Let's say you're one of the biggest names in audio. You've got premiere podcast delivery systems, a satellite radio company that dominates, a streaming audio service -- and over 150 million monthly audio listeners to connect to advertisers. This is SiriusXM at this moment in time. The parent company of Pandora and Stitcher has assembled an audio juggernaut that any advertiser would be wise to consider. And to help these advertisers do just that, Sirius has created an all-in-one ad sales destination: SXM Media.
"What’s effectively on offer for advertisers is holistic access to the largest addressable audio audience in North America," says Crystal Park, Vice President of Industry Marketing at SXM Media.
The power of audio is undeniable at this point, and podcasts are an increasingly crucial element of this ecosystem. In 2020, 80 million people were listening to podcasts on a weekly basis. For advertisers, reaching these listeners might sound easy (pun intended), but actually requires a lot of legwork to do properly.
Take just the podcast ecosystem, for example: Some shows that have huge audiences up front do not have long tails; shows with smaller audiences may have more dedicated, engaged listeners or attract audiences over time. As an advertiser, which kind of show is best for your brand? That's not even getting into the ad format that resonates best with certain kinds of listeners -- host reads, announcer reads, sponsored vignettes, branded shows -- or the different genres of podcast, or the suitability of individual episodes.
And that's just podcasts, not the entire audio landscape. It's enough to make even a veteran media planner sweat, so giving agencies one place to go for expertise, premium content, scale and customized audience buying in audio is a no-brainer.
"Economies of scale are a beautiful thing," Park says. "We've made high-impact technical improvements like reach and scalability, streamlined campaign planning, closed loop measurement, robust and holistic audience targeting -- all of which optimize ad dollars and maximize effectiveness."
The audio world has four major elements, Park adds: listeners, creators, publishers and advertisers. SXM Media is constantly looking for ways to connect these four groups, but the listener experience is always at the center of these efforts.
Studio Resonate, SXM Media's creative consulting arm, can guide agencies to the best messaging delivered by the optimal voice, creating ads that don't disrupt the listener experience. AdsWizz takes care of the programmatic side of things with a suite of solutions that enable dynamic ad insertion, delivering the right ad at the right time instead of an ad the listener has no interest in.
With an eye towards centering the listener experience, SiriusXM acquired podcast platform Stitcher in 2020. Stitcher has long been synonymous with quality when it comes to podcasts, having played host to huge hits like Freakonomics and My Favorite Murder. Stitcher's team has developed deep relationships with its creators -- relationships that have continued to flourish: Seth Rogen just announced he'll be launching his new podcast via Stitcher.
"The Stitcher acquisition gave SXM Media the footing to not just keep competitive pace in podcasting but to immediately bolster our offering and lead the industry in the format, as we've also done in satellite radio and streaming music," Park says.
What's fascinating about SXM Media is that while it provides a single destination for audio advertisers, its solutions are many and varied. And because of the SiriusXM empire's relationships with both listeners and creators, advertisers have the opportunity to center the listener experience while working with creators and publishers. Now, they can do that through one ad sales organization.
Welcome to the world, SXM Media.
Photo at top: Mohammad Metri / Unsplash
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