Brand Strategy

SiriusXM is rebranding in a bid to win over younger listeners

The audio company has a new logo, mascot, consumer app, and content as it shifts its focus to younger, more diverse audiences.
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· 4 min read

Radio has gone to the dogs…literally.

As part of a rebranding initiative unveiled this week, the satellite radio turned audio company SiriusXM brought back its one-time mascot, the dog that used to appear on its logo years ago.

The return of the dog, which the company has named Stella, is part of a larger brand refresh for the audio brand that also includes a new logo, a new consumer app with upgraded tech, new content, and new brand partnerships, much of which is designed to attract younger generations of listeners.

Stella the dog, the logo for SiriusXM, is displayed onstage at a press event

Getty Images for SiriusXM

Bird’s-eye view: While SiriusXM’s primary audience is made up of radio-native Gen Xers and older, the company sees its “growth audience” as younger, more diverse audio consumers, SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz said during a press presentation in New York City.

That group of consumers is much more familiar with streaming audio than listening to the radio, which is perhaps why SiriusXM’s rebrand includes not just a new design, but an overhaul of its consumer app. Streaming-only app access will run $9.99 per month, less than what the company currently charges for its streaming package.

“To connect with a new generation of listeners, we needed to solve the barriers that exist today in this group and begin to transform our business,” Witz said on stage. “Traditionally, auto manufacturers have served as our primary source for trials, and while that continues to remain a key part of our business, over the last few years, consumer preferences have shifted.”

Last month, SiriusXM reported that third-quarter revenue was nearly flat year over year, but said that ad revenue from the music-streaming platform Pandora and its off-platform segment (which includes adtech tool AdsWizz and its non-owned-and-operated platforms) increased by 3% year over year.

Roll over: Aesthetically, the rebrand hinges on the idea that SiriusXM “was born in the sky,” SVP and Chief Growth Officer Suzi Watford said during the company presentation—a literal reference to the company’s satellites that beam radio to certain customers. The new logo for the brand features a star inside the “S,” which is meant to represent the star Sirius, according to Watford, the brightest star in the sky that’s sometimes referred to as the “dog star.”

SiriusXM's new brand assets appear on a printout


Speaking of dogs, Stella doesn’t appear as part of SiriusXM’s new logo, but will “pop up in fun and engaging ways in our communications and brand” from time to time, Watford said. She didn’t say exactly where Stella might stick her nose, but she did note that SiriusXM is planning to kick off “one of its biggest marketing campaigns ever” next year to show off its new branding.

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There’s an app for that: One of the major barriers to attracting younger listeners is the fact that they don’t favor genres, which SiriusXM channels specialize in, as much as they “associate their taste with the artists themselves,” Chief Product and Technology Officer Joe Inzerillo said onstage. Based on that finding, SiriusXM will allow users to indicate musical preferences by artist in addition to by genre when joining the app so they can listen to channels based on their favorite artists.

In the app, users are dropped into a personalized “For You” page and can jump into listening or browse customized audio content that includes music and programming from SiriusXM’s flagship radio service, music from Pandora, and podcasts from Stitcher. The new app will be introduced in December, with some features available as early as Dec. 14 and others rolling out next year, Inzerillo said.

Celebrity-suite: During the unveiling event, SiriusXM announced a roster of new artist-led content, which could also help bring in younger listeners. Kelly Clarkson (who performed at the event), John Mayer, and Shaggy will all get their own SiriusXM channels where they will curate music selections, while existing channels will begin featuring temporary “takeovers” from almost 200 artists, including Olivia Rodrigo, Cardi B, and Metallica, President and CCO Scott Greenstein said.

SiriusXM also announced new brand partnerships with Audible, Polestar, and Hilton meant to further expand its distribution inside and out of cars.

“We know our service is absolutely unmatched in the market,” Chief Commercial Officer Joe Verbrugge said. “We just need to find new ways to connect with the right audiences.”

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