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Disney’s Christmas Sports Inventory, SmartLess’ Big Business, Behind the SiriusXM Rebrand, & More

Disney’s Christmas Sports Inventory, SmartLess’ Big Business, Behind the SiriusXM Rebrand, & More

December 18, 2023

Today in the Business of Podcasting

 Disney is almost sold out of Christmas NFL, NBA, and Rose Bowl ad inventory by Alyssa Meyers

Monday Night Football is the belle of the holiday sports ball this year, with reportedly more advertisers and categories booked for this year than last, and the five NBA games airing on Christmas Monday are nearly sold out of ad space by the first week of December. Christmas has traditionally been the advertising domain of basketball, though the NFL is making a concerted showing now that the holiday falls on one of the biggest nights of the week for football. According to Sounds Profitable’s latest research, Sound You Can See, 38% of respondents who consume at least one video podcast in the past month consume sports podcasts. Something to consider when the direct source has already sold out, but the surrounding content (often hosted by players who will be in those games) is ripe for the picking. And those advertising dollars go to a more leaned-in audience actively engaged with the content, a step up from casual viewers tuning in to watch “the big game.” [Source]

Mailchimp cancels podcast after refusing to work with union producers by Ariel Shapiro

Pineapple Street Studios and Mailchimp have collaborated since 2019 when the studio was first hired to produce branded content and narrative ads. On October 3rd, Pineapple Street’s parent company Audacy informed them all future Mailchimp contract work is required to be performed by non-union workers. According to staffers present at the meeting, an ultimatum was given in the form of signing a side-agreement to allow Mailchimp special permission to subvert the existing union at Pineapple Street Studios with contract workers. An attorney present is quoted as having implied there would be long-term negative consequences for Pineapple Street Studios if they did not sign the side-agreement. The union refused and Mailchimp has ended its relationship with Audacy. An Intuit Mailchimp representative told Hot Pod the decision was based on a variety of factors, and Mailchimp has worked with unions in different areas of their business. [Source]

How Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes’ ‘Smartless’ Proved Podcasts Can Mean Big Business by Addie Morfoot

SmartLess has grown from a celebrity pandemic passion project to a powerhouse of celeb podcasting in three years, signing to Wondery for reportedly $80 million within a year. The secret sauce of SmartLess is consistency and quality. The host trio of Will Arnett, Sean Hayes, and Jason Bateman were friends before the project and launched with existing chemistry. By virtue of the hosts being actors, SmartLess was able to leverage big-name guests early and often. And the brand is consistently marketed, with everything from merch to a documentary series following the hosts on a live show tour. [Source]

 Behind the scenes of SiriusXM’s rebrand by Alyssa Meyers

After months of teasing a new look for the app and a rebrand, SiriusXM announced its plans for a brand refresh last month, including the return of their dog mascot and an update to their streaming app. The return of Stella the dog, a mascot-ization of the star Sirius from which the company is named, serves the double role of referencing SXM’s past, as well as bringing a youthful fun energy to the brand. A youthful energy that carries over to the app redesign, as the stated goal for modern SiriusXM is to be a fan destination. Instead of focusing on offering an overwhelming amount of choices, the new SXM emphasis is human curation and providing audiences more of things they already enjoy. [Source]

…as for the rest of the news: Podnews has launched a fun tool to find which Netflix series has similar performance to your podcast’s based on recently-published Netflix watch data, and IAB Australia has announced the 2024 IAB Australia Audio Summits sessions.