Jean Foster  

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to the see space studio at CES 2020. We're on the phone came down of the session. So three more sessions to go this afternoon, but some great, great speakers. My name is Jean Foster. I'm the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications here at CTA. So I've pretty much got the best job in the world, because I get to have a backstage pass to the latest in technology. One of the latest tools that we've actually incorporated this year is with one of our partners buzz radar, just behind the stage here, there. Hopefully, you've all had a chance to look at our social media sentiment wall. They've launched a new product this year, and I just, I just tried it myself, they actually do. It's called the CES attendee analyzer. So you can go up there, put in your social media handle, and they'll basically run your social media profile based on the analysis of the data. So not only is a fun thing to do, it's a really great tool for marketers. So I encourage you to check it out just behind the stage there. So this afternoon, as I said, we've got we've got three sessions. First up is Sirius XM and Pandora. Marty Swann reporter with Forbes is going to be interviewing the relatively new CMO of Sirius XM and Pandora, the nice car costs. They're going to be talking about the new frontiers in marketing, advertising and brand building an era of dynamic shifts in digital Tech Data. And obviously audio. Before Marty and Denise come on stage, you're going to get to see the latest ad from Sirius XM. Thank you.


Marty Swant  

 Yeah. But no, well, thanks for everyone for being here. And thanks to nice for being here as well. I mean, there's a lot we could talk about. I know that you guys just had the merger with with Pandora. And so there's lots to talk about there and a lot of audio and voice tech stuff here at CES this week. But I want to start off since you're still relatively new in the role since coming from TD Ameritrade, where you are for, what, 13 years, 


Denise Karkos  

10 years at TDMA


Marty Swant  

10 years. Okay, yeah. So first of all, what made you want to take this new job? That's a big jump from financial services to audio?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, yeah, it's a natural transition. So I think it struck a lot of people, either odd or crazy, but it's it's actually neither had been at TD Bank and then TD Ameritrade for half of my career. And it's like, How did I end up in financial services, it was never really my pursuit. I just wanted to be a marketer and leading great teams. And I found myself just a great company for a very long time. And so I had been cmo for about five and a half years. And, you know, I started thinking that I've probably run my course I have built an incredible team and potentially I'm in the way so I had been very purposeful about what that next step would be. And for any of us out there that get the calls, you know, you get the calls that are endemic to your category. And so I was very clear to say when the time comes, I don't want to stay in financial services, I think I want to broaden out and I'm much more interested in sports and entertainment area. And so that suited me really well. And it served me really well because when the time came that I was ready, and I got the right calls, and so this one was the perfect one. And so, in reality, you know being a marketer is all about driving growth and knowing your customer better than any And that doesn't discriminate across any industry. And so it is actually pretty natural for me because that was my process.


Marty Swant  

Awesome. What was theirs was like the biggest difference you think when you're thinking about marketing for Pandora? I'm serious.

 

Denise Karkos  

Yeah. And so I underestimated the fact that it's two jobs. So I got suckered in Pandora and Sirius XM are two distinct brands and two distinct teams. And so we're working on a lot of that we can talk a little bit further on that part of the strategy. But then you also have relationships with the car manufacturers, Sirius XM in the car, you have advertisers on Pandora. It's the largest audio advertising platform. So I'm out there talking to advertisers from my former perspective as a buyer, and now as cmo endorsing the product, and then of course, is trying to drive growth in the business on both sides. And Sirius XM is very much a direct marketing type of play. And Pandora is much more of an emotive brand play. So it's fascinating because you're pulling on kind of every skill set you've ever learned in your career. Air, and it's really challenging in a great way.


Marty Swant  

Yeah. So remember when did the merger complete again? It was pretty recent.


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, it was a year ago at CFP, you announced it. 


Marty Swant  

Right. Okay. Yeah,yeah, but oh here and he can't believe it. Yeah. So I think it's interesting cuz you have these obviously these two major audio powerhouses. But like you said very different audiences in some way some overlap. But how is I mean, I know you're there, like four or five months now.


Denise Karkos  

Three? Yeah.


Marty Swant  

I'm like, I'm letting time fly fast. Yeah. Yeah, I'm in a new role to have been at Forbes for like, five months, and it feels like forever and feels like just yesterday. Um, but how does that shape the way that you're thinking about marketing this year, when it comes to bringing these two brands together, but still keeping them separate? I know you've had campaigns for each of these that have debuted?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah. So you know, I think for going in I certainly had a bunch of hypotheses and I had kind of written them. Down in terms of what my perspective was, and keeping it, of course, incredibly loose for when you come in and you actually learn, you get the data and the intelligence to really get a better understanding. But, you know, I kind of really thought it was going to be simple merge, these two brands bring the best of both together, similar content, strengthen each with each other's capabilities, but then bring them together. And in fact, that's not an all that we're going to do is we're going to employ a house of brand strategy. There, there's just enough distinctions between the brands, at least in the short term, that that's going to be the best way forward for us for growth. So Pandora is largely 25. Plus, we are the number one us mobile audio streaming service. And so I know that sounds a little caveated right there who were number one. And then know Spotify is the one that everyone likes to talk about, and certainly they went on a global scale. And for Sirius XM, we are an older, more affluent demo. And so the great thing about the merger of the two is that the content on Sirius XM Premium and exclusive because people are paying a lot for it. And on Pandora, it's largely free lifting and it's democratized for anyone who wants to just lean back and listen and get that experience. And yet we have incredible personalization technology embedded on Pandora. So the strategy is instead to make it a capability play, and so have all of those technological advancements on Pandora and apply them to Sirius XM, so you can get like the next best Howard Stern, next best podcast, really important for the user experience and then a Sirius XM. test some of the content out on Pandora. So we just launched Howard Stern's 19 best podcasts or interviews for 2019. And that's on Pandora now, and so you can listen to his interview with Jennifer Aniston, Billy Eilish, Hillary Clinton, that's that's your jam. So it's, um, they're incredible. They're so good and there's getting a ton of listenership. So what we're doing is we're seeing that our listening hours are going way up on that strategy.


Marty Swant  

So What's the average amount of time that someone spends on Pandora versus Sirius?


Denise Karkos  

And I'd love to play the new card on that one. But, and it, I think it's about 10 hours a week on Pandora. And Sirius XM is interesting because we don't have enough data there because it's satellite. So it's one way. So we don't really know we have survey data, but it's not as scientific as Pandora.

 

Marty Swant  

Cool. I know that data was a big factor when you're thinking of when when the company was thinking about merging these two companies. And obviously data is within advertising in general is such a big topic for the last few years and will continue to be it. So I'm kind of curious, how has that shifted thinking about the data that you're able to collect on these two different platforms?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah. And it, it is, um, it's interesting, because on Pandora, you've got a treasure trove of listener data. And we are maniacal about studying that data and making sure that we're optimizing that listener experience is all about that on Pandora. And not to say it's on Sirius XM, of course it is, but we just have a little bit less intelligence there. Which is why it's really important to diversify that strategy. So we are not only in the car anymore, we have a Sirius XM streaming app that we've launched a couple of years ago, that's really getting some momentum, and so on. On that experience. Now we're getting again, that same treasure trove of data. So we're able to really understand user preferences time spent, what's going to be really critical, and now that we've stood up kind of that infrastructure is what's the pathing data? Are we able to upsell from free Pandora to paid Sirius XM? What are the techniques or the tools are the triggers for the listener to actually you know, jump over and so it's going to be so fun to test all this different content out, you know, it's, it's, it's, it's different. I have a lot of my old team is here and I loved working in TD Ameritrade, but it was quite a change. When I came in day one and someone told me I had to write a brief for Drake.


Marty Swant  

Sounds fun.


Denise Karkos  

Awesome. They have all the data on Drake listeners. And in he's the number one streamed artist. So, you know, how are we going to make that fly? Which is just a really fun application of data.


Marty Swant  

Did you see him? He wasn't here last night or the night before? I heard somewhere. Yeah, I wasn't there. So I'm thinking about, you know, teaming up, you know, joking backstage about how you know, I'm in my 30s. Now, I should start investing. And so I was like, I don't even know where to go. There's TD Ameritrade and all these others. But there's almost too many options to choose from. Yeah, but in the same way syndic music has the same dilemma these days, music and audio, you've got Pandora, you've got Sirius, you've got Spotify, Apple Music, you've got I Heart Radio. So how have you been thinking about distinguishing, you know, the music category for yourselves, and how is it maybe similar different than how you might have thought about distinguishing TD Ameritrade within the other financial services?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah. You know, it's, it's wonderful to be in a position of such scale, we have over 100 million listeners across the two platforms, which is fantastic. But in like any category of any of us, you know, competition abounds. And, you know, the good news is, is that the average listener has about three different services. And so, in for Pandora, when I talked to people who love us, they couldn't think about leaving, because we know them so well, you know, it's that that again, that application of data and personalization to really make sure that experience is curated for you. And so we really want to start to, you know, build that behavior and that habit, based on that and so continuing to strengthen that both on Sirius XM and Pandora. We have we obviously, think about the competition all the time. What we want to do is really take advantage of the fact that we do have, you know, this hundred million bays and how to retain their listenership give them bigger and better content so that they can stay on our platform longer and deepen that relationship. And then you know, get their friends and family To sign up as well.


Marty Swant  

So where are you guys marketing these days? Like what platforms are you thinking about? I mean, I know these platforms are major had platforms on their own but where do you spend your money then?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, I'm so I'm everywhere. I mean, we do not discriminate across media. So we are, you know, where you would might think we are a lot of social and influencer campaigns. We have an incredible events team, we do a lot of experiential events. It blows my mind. And it's funny, it shows kind of, don't don't think you're like, so great when you're like been doing marketing for a long time. And I could come in and the thing I wanted to kill on was was one activation at an event we're doing with halsy. And, you know, I kept my mouth shut because I'm like, I'm new. This team's awesome. And it was like the number one attended experiential piece of the puzzle. And so I, I'm going to learn that piece a little bit. We didn't do a lot of that in my past, so, but we've got the great team to do it. So in traditional media to you know, we're obviously embracing Audio and on broadcast and in a lot of online video. So you we really out of home, we kind of do it all.


Marty Swant  

Yeah, I know, at least for that other music company, Spotify. Yeah. They've obviously been betting a lot on podcasts and acquiring a couple companies think it was just last year. We are in 2029. Yeah, last year. But what percentage of it for you guys to and how do you think about? I mean, honestly, when I think about podcasting, I just go to the Apple podcast app and not using these other apps. Maybe I should, because sometimes there's one that's on the platforms, but I'm kind of curious, what role does podcasting play for you when you're thinking about the brand of serious and Pandora these days?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, and you know, podcasts are a must, you know, I think we probably all like enjoy our podcasts either on our commute or you know, whatever part of the day we want to listen to to that. And you know, for us, I think that is exactly where the marriage of our ability to personalize and what's the next best podcast for you? crossover that if you're listening to our NFL station on Sirius XM or if you're listening to you know news content, the you may be more prime to listen to a certain type of podcast so it's really taking advantage of the personalization and what's next best for you within the podcast realm. So that's that's been very successful for us so we have a lot of podcasts on both platforms. And that's only going to grow


Marty Swant  

you can see you would want to acquire a podcast companies have kind of build up some of that too or does that not make sense?


Denise Karkos  

I'm maybe I don't know. 


Marty Swant  

I guess we'll see. I don't think I'd be interesting I'm thinking about something else so it's. It's interesting thinking about the way that you know I listen to music and the way that I'm placing music on the side but how is your own you know, habits of music, listening and form your way the actually think about marketing it


Denise Karkos  

Yeah. Yeah, you know, I've never a focus group of one like that can I've learned a lot to not ever be that. So I don't know, project any of my own preferences on the decisions I make as a marketer, that said, You know, I came to these brands because I'm a huge consumer of the content. And, you know, I'm listening to things now that I didn't even think I would. And it's interesting because people say that they, you know, listen to, you know, sports and talk and news on Sirius XM. And they think they do, but they're, you know, largely listening to music and then they do, you know, kind of dabble in some of the other experiences, but music is really still such a strong place for us to be and so, the merger and the acquisition of Pandora was so smart for us to really make sure that we're really owning music, but also diversifying our content cuz that's what our listeners expect. So making sure we're embracing the, you know, every category you can possibly think of.


Marty Swant  

So then I love asking people, especially you know, this you have a big job of like two different people. Major marketing, how to explain your How do you spend your time? Thinking about a week? Like how do you prioritize indoor versus serious and and I'm kind of curious how do you think about where do you focus where do you not?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, and you know, when I when I first started be in maybe this will lead into our last video we were my teams were launching two new q4 campaigns and so they had kind of discrete objectives. So for Sirius XM, the video that you saw and I came on stage was based on this insight that Sirius XM can bring you moments and access to artists and athletes and news anchors, like you can't get anywhere else kind of that that deep understanding of what's on their mind what those relationships are. And you know, the cool thing is when you go into our offices, you know, you see what was on the video that was just actually B roll of us kind of walking around like I you know, I ran into you know, Andy Cohen in the hallway, you know, and so hard for me not to fangirl, but I'm just cool And there is a bounce all day. And so for Sirius XM, the insight there is almost like this is sports center like, you know, what is that moment? What is that way to really build that connectivity with the listener and celebrate that passion that they have for the content. And so that's really the inspiration behind the moments campaign for Pandora. That is really all of our research talks about when people are listening to Pandora. It's almost part of the daily rhythm of their life. It's adding inspiration and a little bit motivation to cleaning or mowing the lawn. And it's a nice soundtrack for life. And so for Pandora, the campaign there was all about celebrating these moments. And it's all throughout the day in your journey. It's all based on the research, but really making sure that we're celebrating that like music adds so much to your life and don't think of it as an event but thinking about it as kind of a continual part of the companion really. So you know, I'm going to show that in a second, but in terms of, you know, specificity of your question, I know, I'm really trying to think early days about, you know, not only the strategy which I started to articulate of you to describe brands, but really thinking about the architecture of what's the purpose? Is that a common purpose it is. And then from there, it starts to get distinguish between target audience value proposition, what's our competitive positioning for each. And that starts to really build a nice framework for how we're going to make decisions, organizationally, process wise, how we go to market what the priorities are. So I am spending a ton of time just trying to think about the foundational framework with which I can get my team all involved and bought into and then socialize across the company and then the board. And once they understand that, this is the vision, this is where we're going and here's the priorities and we all agree, then then I kind of have my playbook, and that's given me comfort that's coming into it really into fruition quite nicely. So it's like that type of thinking. Same time running a mile a minute alongside my team to make sure we're supporting Drake and LeBron and all these Kevin Hart and there's so many cool relationships that we have that we're going to be bringing to the marketplace. But first we will use this as an excuse to show video switcher. So let's roll the Pandora video Please

Okay 


Marty Swant  

Awesome. 


Denise Karkos  

Thank you. Yeah. And you can see in there, a little bit of what we had to do and back to the competitive question was to catch people up to the fact that we have a lot of features that you may be unaware of. So is most specifically it's playing a single song on demand. We know that that's what listeners wants and we hear it all the time. And we've had the feature for quite a while it just really wasn't brought to the forefront. And so it's a little bit of catch up. But in the communications you'll see some of it we were we were working I was working with Brad minor on my team who's running Brandon advertising and he's fantastic. And, and you a lot of the creative assets are there and embedded in there. As we're testing. There was that one that just said, just play the damn song. And that's tested off the charts. Like sometimes just gonna say it.


Marty Swant  

Yeah


Denise Karkos  

Yeah. 


Marty Swant  

So the other thing I noticed in the in that in that, in that sizzle reel was the use of out of home ads. And it seems like there's been a lot of resurgence of first of all among DTC brands couple years ago, but now increasingly, obviously, Spotify is doing a lot of that. And you guys are not doing it. So I'm kind of curious to what is it about out of home that's been really appealing to marketers these days?


Denise Karkos  

Hey, Anthony. So my very first job out of college was buying billboards in the Midwest, super sexy. And you know, I was because they're really computer technology wasn't so pervasive that people hold them We would fly to markets and ride the boards and make sure that they were like good boards. And so that was my first job. And so the fact that out of home has had this resurgence is it's kind of coming coming back home for me. But it's everything's digital now it's it's so it's it's fantastic to see the capabilities of old school traditional media that they're not old school traditional anymore, every single medium is getting disrupted. And so we certainly embrace out of home because it's targeting capabilities, you know, our ability to you know, make sure we're showing the right ad at the right time, either contextually or that very targeted. So that's why you know, it's like the traditional not traditional anymore.


Marty Swant  

Yeah. How do you measure that compared to maybe how you might have previously?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, this used to just be about impressions and you know that the gills number you know, circulation that's like, well, tons of traffic you're, you're benefiting from it, of course, is our eyeballs. But now we're absolutely under able to understand who's actually looking at your ad who's actually digesting it, how much time are they spending with it. So we will be deeper understanding of that.


Marty Swant  

Sure. I know another big issue last couple years has been a lot of issues around like brand safety and stuff like that, obviously, both of both these platforms are entirely professionally created content, you know, like Facebook or this lot of user generated stuff. Twitter the same way. So how has that been a selling point? Or has it been for when you're trying to get advertisers on these platforms? The fact that it's all going to be brand safe, and you can place it exactly where you want it to go?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's, it's been a huge concern for any advertiser. And it's certainly a question you get asked all the time, by the, you know, that your legal friends and all that, but that is a big selling point for us. Because the wonderful thing about Pandora is that people want you to know their listening behavior because you're only going to improve the experience. So it's very permission based. And so we're strengthen those experiences based on how they want to interact with us. You know, in one of the new features that we have Is he just said play a song on demand, you may have to unlock an ad before you do it. But the content for the advertiser is giving permission for the listener to have access to content they're looking for. And creating that relationship with the advertiser. And the listener is kind of this nice, you know, harmonious equation. So in so they know we're using their data, they want us to it making sure they get the right advertising and they get the right listening. So it's actually it's a nice selling point for us. Yeah.


Marty Swant  

Speaking did it like just last week, California privacy law went into effect and GDPR 120 12 2018. There's talk of, you know, a federal bill, we'll see if that actually happens or not. But how is that shift changed the way that you're thinking about I know, you said offices, permission based people are opting into this, but has that changed the way that you're thinking about marketing and data driven advertising?


Denise Karkos  

For the rest, it's just like, make sure you know, January 1 came fast for all of us and making sure that we're compliant. But I mean, it is all about embracing that first party data and making sure we're keeping it in respecting the customers, you know, desires and making sure that we're only using the data that they want us to use. But it's really nothing sexier than that. It's like we're, you know, making sure we're following all the rules. And we know I am, especially in my last job at TD Ameritrade, you know, looking down the pike in preparing yourself for should it become a federal regulation? Like, are we ready? And how can we make sure that we're prepared for that? And so it's less so for us? We're in a better place now.


Marty Swant  

Seems like some people really, you know, first party is a lot more appealing these days, because you don't have to worry about these third party ad tech companies. And yeah, so that makes sense. Yeah. So I know we're here at CES want to spend a couple minutes thinking more about kind of the future of tech and the future of sound? What are the things that you're most excited about when you're thinking about just audio and just in general, I mean, whether it's, you know, all the devices that you guys ran or the car manufacturers that you're working with, love to have you talked about maybe a couple years down the road, what what will be changing when it comes to Audio in tech.


Denise Karkos  

Yeah. I mean, it's been all about the connected home here, you know, we're all we're all listening and seeing the same things, but the connected car, the connected home. And of course, the other thing that's really important to us is, is, of course, 5g. But what I love is that these are all enabling technologies that only strengthen our relationship with the listener. So if you think about what I was saying, what on Pandora being kind of the soundtrack to your life? Well, now we're going to be able to kind of be that companion because we're going to be enabled through technology to be, you know, everywhere in your home and in your car and your work. And really, the access has been opened up quite a bit. So I'm most interested in understanding all these connected devices. We have lots of partnerships with, you know, the smart speakers and our partners across all those devices. And that's been incredible growth opportunity for us. We've seen 100% increase in listening of Pandora and Sirius XM on connected devices. So it's, it's been I mean, that's why you know, those are going gangbusters, and then you know, 5g is just about speed. So how quickly can we get people access to the content that they want that they're searching for that we know that they need? So really, we're quite the beneficiary of all of the things that we're hearing about at CES.


Marty Swant  

Yeah, one of the things I've found really interesting the last year or so is the use of spatial audio and a Bose has new pair of sunglasses, that you can walk around and just maps it to front and that is no just like, can walk around and feel like you're in a environment with sound and their QC. 35 said the same thing and I know Sennheiser ESP and stuff like that. But what potential does that have you thinking about augmented reality or VR? Or AR audio? When you're thinking about bringing music to people and new environments?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, I think it's, it's all about those use cases, because you can go crazy thinking that this every single idea is a good idea and let's put music into every single component of someone's life. But, you know, I think that's where we just have to be joyful about our roadmap and where we want show up and and right now you know it is all about that connected home and we'll certainly want to be making sure that we're music is going to amplify and inspire you, we will find our way there. And if it happens to be on a Bose sunglasses or headset and awesome, but right now it's really all about that connected experience in the car in the home.


Marty Swant  

I know p&g is a new toothbrush here this week, I can imagine like pindo or being in the toothbrush, you know.


Denise Karkos  

That will be the headline. You will see us in a toothbrush next.


Unknown Speaker  

Yeah. And when it's white 21 I'm kidding. But any any other big thoughts when you're thinking about? Let's say we're at 2020? Here, what? What's going to change in 2030 for for Pandora and Sirius when you're thinking about the way that you market and also kind of interact with your?


Denise Karkos  

Yeah, I think I think that, you know, the biggest thing that I need to think through with my team is the fact that we've got the Sirius XM proposition in the car which is so strong, and we've got Pandora mobile experience and now we're Standing up this Sirius XM mobile experience. And so you have three experiences across which you are going to learn a lot about the listener. And you're going to have, like I said, this capabilities that can be shared across each of the experiences, content decisions that can be shared. But strategically, what does 2030 look like? Is it is it all one is everything in the car now streaming? And is that Sirius XM? Is it Pandora is something bigger? What acquisitions we made along the way to help drive that decision. So that you're really thinking through the fact that we have three great experiences that are going to be separate and discrete for a while, while we learn and while we really deepen the relationship with our listeners, but you know, talk about 10 years out, who knows what any of us will will be doing with our brands? But But I think, for me, I'm thinking about the convergence or an or not of those experiences, 


Marty Swant  

Maybe in 10 years musical be streamed right into our brains, who knows? 


Denise Karkos  

Probably Yeah, 


Marty Swant  

But on that note, we're out of time. So thank you so much. Yeah. here and enjoy the rest of the day. 


Denise Karkos  

Thank you.


Jean Foster  

All right, thank you, Martin Denise. So we're going to take a very short break, and just setting up for our next session. The next session is an individual who goes by one name shinky. He is a personal favorite of mine. And if you've never seen seen him speak, you're going to be in for a wild ride. That's all I'm going to say. Big Vision of take for the future. And then our final session of the afternoon. Again, another favorite of mine. The axios team are going to make Allen from axios is going to be up on stage moderating a panel that's going to talk about politics and the media. Obviously very topical at the moment. So So please join us for the next two sessions, but we'll be back on stage momentarily. Thank you.

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