‘SmartLess’ podcast by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes’ is going to SiriusXM for $100M

January 31, 2024

Actors/comedians Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes are ditching Amazon and taking their popular podcast SmartLess to SiriusXM, the satellite radio network said on Monday, January 29. The three-year deal is valued at $100 million, a source confirmed to CNN.

SiriusXM gained exclusive rights to the hit podcast as part of a larger deal with SmartLess Media, according to an announcement on Monday. Sirius will hold the advertising and distribution rights, as well as content and events for the podcast and other select shows.

The $100 million payment represents a staggering amount for the podcast, which launched in July 2020. Bloomberg first reported the huge price tag. But SmartLess has fetched multimillions before: In 2021, Amazon had acquired the exclusive rights in a deal valued between $60 million and $80 million, Bloomberg reported.

The deal keeps the podcast widely available, but brings perks to SiriusXM subscribers—and could possibly encourage more to join. SiriusXM subscribers will get early access to SmartLess and other podcasts such as Just Jack & Will, Bad Dates, and Owned. The majority of the SmartLess library only will be e on SiriusXM once the deal commences in the summer.

SiriusXM has about 34 million subscribers, according to its October 2023 earnings report. The network also exclusively distributes Conan O’Brien’s Conan Needs a Friend podcast and Crooked Media’s Pod Save America.

The podcasts, which remain free, even to non-SiriusXM subscribers, help create an alternate revenue stream for the satellite radio company.

The SmartLess podcast is among the top listened to in the country. Its notable guests have included President Joe Biden, Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Greta Gerwig, Idris Elba, Pedro Pascal, and Selena Gomez.

Over the past few years, SiriusXM has “doubled down on our commitment to podcasting,” Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM said in a release. “With the addition of SmartLess, we are strengthening our leadership position in podcasting.”

Research contact: @CNN