The Walt Disney Company is bringing the Marvel Entertainment brand to audio as part of a multiyear deal to create original podcasts for SiriusXM and Pandora. In Marvel's most sweeping podcast deal to date, the venture will include both scripted and unscripted series, in addition to themed live events. Marvel President Dan Buckley said storytelling has always been at the heart of Marvel's success and podcasts will allow the character-based entertainment brand to reach its fans in a whole new way.
“Powerful stories are read, seen, and heard – and we believe audio is the next natural step to bring the Marvel Universe to fans around the world," Buckley in a statement. The alliance will give the sister audio companies an exclusive window on the shows before they’re widely distributed more broadly. SiriusXM said it would make the Marvel podcasts available on both Pandora’s free ad-supported and subscription ad-free tiers.
The new podcasts will begin rolling out in 2020 and will be released during the next several years. Included in the slate are four new scripted series, each consisting of ten episodes, based around the iconic characters of Wolverine, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Star-Lord, as well as a fifth series in which all four team up. The unscripted podcasts include shows that will look at Marvel's history through a modern-day lens of pop culture. There will also be other podcasts dedicated to popular Marvel franchises in addition to regular talk shows, including an interview show that will feature celebrity guests. “We can't wait to share more details in the weeks and months to come,” Buckley said. Terms of the agreement were not released.
SiriusXM has moved more slowly into on-demand audio and Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer, has said they believe their opening will be working with many of the big media brands that have yet moved into podcasting. He told analysts earlier this year that being able to offer “quality production, experience, [and] a real depth in audio production” would help SiriusXM attract brands like TV channels, magazines, or sports leagues to the audio space. That’s now come to fruition with the Marvel deal.
“We chose Marvel for our first major foray into creating original podcasts, and are thrilled to have Marvel create new audio programming and curate top quality podcasts for SiriusXM and Pandora,” Greenstein said in a statement. SiriusXM and Marvel launched their first joint initiative in August with the music station and channel "Marvel's 80th: The Road to Marvel Comics #1000," which was available on SiriusXM for a limited run, as well as through its streaming platform and on demand, and also on the Pandora mobile app. “Under our new creative collaboration with Marvel, we'll now provide our subscribers and listeners and Marvel fans a breadth and depth of podcasts that will be an immersive adventure into the iconic Marvel universe,” Greenstein said.