SiriusXM is using Apple Podcasts to sell more subscriptions, specifically subscriptions for Marvel content. The company launched a new Apple Podcast channel today for its Marvel content, along with a $3.99-per-month subscription offering called Marvel Podcasts Unlimited. Paying subscribers will receive early access to shows — they’ll be a week ahead of the wide release — along with exclusive titles, including Declassified, a narrative documentary about the history of Marvel Comics. (These benefits are also available to SiriusXM subscribers within the SXM app.)
Apple is the exclusive third-party partner for Sirius’ Marvel subscription product, meaning, at least for now, it won’t be available through any other membership product. This news follows Sirius and Marvel agreeing to a deal in 2019 to make shows exclusively for Sirius properties featuring Marvel’s iconic characters.
Comic podcasts have increasingly become potential drivers of subscriptions. Spotify and DC Comics signed a deal in February to launch shows together while HBO Max just premiered its new Batman audio series with plans to make it exclusive to its app. The reasons why are clear: people recognize the show names and characters, and they also seemingly love content based on comics — just look at Marvel movies’ success. Whether that same blockbuster status can be replicated in audio form, however, has yet to be realized. However, with Apple Podcasts on its side, and its coveted in-app subscribe button, Sirius might have a chance of finding a substantial new revenue stream.