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SiriusXM Once Again Schools Radio As it Acquires Team Coco

The satcaster makes a great move, bringing Conan O’Brien’s company into the fold…

By Paul Marszalek

Terrestrial radio’s stubborn lack of investment in talent and product has been fairly well documented, so it’s great to hear from a radio company demonstrating the need to have new content in the pipeline.

And that company is SiriusXM, which today announced the acquisition of Conan O’Brien’s production company Team Coco.

Earwolf, a podcasting offshoot of SiriusXM’s Stitcher, had already been distributing the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast. For a reported $150 million over five years, it will now get nine additional Team Coco podcasts, which include titles hosted by JB Smoove, Andy Richter, and Rob Lowe — as well as video archives from O’Brien’s TBS show.

O’Brien will also produce a comedy channel for SiriusXM.

It’s a brilliant move for the satcaster, especially if Conan can be convinced to go the extra mile on satellite radio to complement Howard Stern’s increasingly short work week.

The podcasting and digital numbers for Team Coco are staggering: Roughly 8.5 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and more than 4 million on Facebook  combine to deliver more than a billion views of his content annually, according to a statement released from SiriusXM. The podcasts average 180 million downloads per year and reach some 17 million subscribers across all of social media.

In a statement, O’Brien commented, “When I started in television, my ultimate goal was to work my way up to radio.”

Snark aside, based on his success in audio, the deal could make for an incredible fit, bringing a content and idea machine to SiriusXM’s multiple platforms.

Outside of the sports-talk and perhaps major market CHR formats, terrestrial radio has largely given up on the idea of investing in talent and fresh content. Even public radio is bleeding many of its best to commercial podcasting counterparts.

Kudos to SiriusXM for executing on Business 101: You have to spend money to make money.

If you’re in the media business, you must to have compelling content in the pipeline to keep audiences excited – and that requires investment.

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