Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes Take Podcast to SiriusXM for $100 Million | Mint
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Business News/ News / Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes Take Podcast to SiriusXM for $100 Million
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Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes Take Podcast to SiriusXM for $100 Million

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. has acquired certain exclusive rights to SmartLess, the hit podcast hosted by actors Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes, as part of a larger deal between the satellite radio company and SmartLess Media.

Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes Take Podcast to SiriusXM for $100 MillionPremium
Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes Take Podcast to SiriusXM for $100 Million

(Bloomberg) -- Sirius XM Holdings Inc. has acquired certain exclusive rights to SmartLess, the hit podcast hosted by actors Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes, as part of a larger deal between the satellite radio company and SmartLess Media.

The three-year accord is worth more than $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. Sirius, a satellite radio service and streaming outfit, gets rights to distribute and sell ads for SmartLess and other programs like Bad Dates. The deal also includes some live events and access to previously aired episodes. 

The agreement, which takes effect later this year, gives Sirius a high-profile program to attract users to its service and the SiriusXM Podcast Network. SmartLess has grown into one of the most popular podcasts since Arnett, Bateman and Hayes started the weekly show in 2020. They have interviewed world leaders, pop stars and top Hollywood executives. The show has staged live events, and their tour was the subject of an HBO documentary.

The large and loyal fan base has made SmartLess a target for leading podcast distributors. Amazon.com Inc. previously paid $60 million to $80 million for the rights to distribute the show over three years. The e-commerce giant put new episodes on its Amazon Music and Wondery services for a week before they became available elsewhere in a bid to attract new users, and retains rights to some SmartLess titles.

“Over the past several years, we have doubled down on our commitment to podcasting, and with the addition of SmartLess, we are strengthening our leadership position in podcasting," Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s president and chief content officer, said in a statement.

Sirius introduced a new streaming service last year and to help the satellite radio company compete online with Spotify Technology SA and Amazon. The company finished the third quarter with 34 million subscribers and about 150 million listeners. It is scheduled to report year-end financial results on Feb. 1. 

Shares of Sirius were down 1.6% to $5.26 at 1:04 p.m. in New York. They fell 6.3% in 2023.

SmartLess, which still owns its flagship show, signed the Amazon deal during a frothy time in the podcast market. Spotify and Amazon spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying studios and shows they thought would attract listeners, including Bill Simmons’ The Ringer and Gimlet media. Those companies have since cut back on their spending.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 30 Jan 2024, 12:16 AM IST
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