SiriusXM Acquires Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible Podcast
Roman Mars and Podcast and Production Team Join Stitcher, a subsidiary of SiriusXM
SiriusXM announced that it has acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the Company owned by Roman Mars, the creator, host, and executive producer of the groundbreaking 99% Invisible podcast. The acquisition brings the acclaimed podcast host and his team to SiriusXM, where they will continue to operate 99% Invisible, the podcast What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law, and develop new podcast projects.
99% Invisible will become part of Stitcher, the pioneering podcast company SiriusXM acquired last year as part of its goal to build the best home for podcast creators. With the addition of leading podcast platforms Stitcher and Simplecast, along with industry-leading ad tech company AdsWizz, SiriusXM has developed an ecosystem that podcasters can rely on to create, distribute, and monetize their work, as well as gain access to SiriusXM’s broad talent relationships and make use of the promotional power of its SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher listening platforms.
“I have made a career by telling stories about what’s right in front of us, and in this case, it is the opportunity to grow and create with SiriusXM,” Mars said. “This journey, which started more than 10 years ago on public radio, is a testament to the power of storytelling, the incredibly talented 99pi team, and the dedicated army of ‘Beautiful Nerds’ who we are fortunate to call our listeners. I’m incredibly proud of what we helped build at the Radiotopia network, the non-profit collective I co-founded with PRX, and look forward to the work we can do at SiriusXM.”
Based in Oakland, Mars launched 99% Invisible in 2010, an independently produced – and Kickstarter supported – radio show and podcast that exposes the unseen and overlooked aspects of design, architecture and activity that shapes the world. 99% Invisible has been downloaded more than 500 million times, and Mars has been named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People.” Over the years Mars and his team have branched out beyond the flagship 99% Invisible, launching the successful Articles of Interest, According to Need, What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law and Judas and the Black Messiah podcasts, while also releasing a New York Times bestselling book, The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design.
“In our tenth year of being an independent production, I began looking to evolve the show in new and exciting ways. While we explored a number of potential homes for 99% Invisible, I want to be with the company that launches new projects, and Stitcher provided us a unique opportunity to focus on the art of creating, developing and producing content we know our listeners will love, while freeing me of constantly thinking about the business of podcasting,” Mars said. “Moving forward, the entire 99% Invisible team will have the resources and support to pursue the stories we want to tell to an even larger universe of listeners. We could not be more excited to be joining the Stitcher family at SiriusXM.”
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The 99% Invisible podcast will be available broadly and across SiriusXM’s multiple audio streaming services, including the Stitcher, Pandora, and SiriusXM apps. 99% Invisible joins other iconic, acclaimed and original podcasts whose home is SiriusXM, Stitcher and Pandora, including such popular shows and series as Office Ladies, Comedy Gold Minds with Kevin Hart, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, WTF with Marc Maron, LeVar Burton Reads and podcasts from Marvel Entertainment, and prestigious documentary and narrative projects such as Heaven’s Gate, Unfinished, The Dream, Sporkful and Hidden Brain.
“We want to be home to the most creative producers working in podcasting today, so we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Roman and his team to Stitcher and SiriusXM,” said Megan Liberman, head of talk and podcast programming for SiriusXM and Stitcher. “SiriusXM built itself into North America’s leader in audio entertainment by attracting world-class talent. Bringing Roman and his team here is a natural extension of these efforts, and they will serve as a pillar as we continue building the most attractive home for podcast and audio creators.”
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel to Sirius XM. AGM Securities, an affiliate of United Talent Agency, advised Roman Mars/99% Invisible, while Sklar Kirsh served as legal counsel.