SiriusXM Thinks Outside the Car

How the satellite radio giant worked with Code and Theory to adapt a new media model for the wireless age.

In early 2013, SiriusXM faced tough competition for listeners’ attention. At the time, streaming music platforms had started to become ubiquitous, Wi-Fi was moving into the car and phones had become a central hub for audio. So the satellite radio service needed to do some listening itself.

The brand came to Code and Theory and posed a challenge: Help us look beyond the in-car experience and make Sirius a more seamless, portable option for music lovers everywhere.

Early on, the team discovered that the project was more than just building an easy-to-use series of apps that would create a more consistent SiriusXM experience across all devices and environments.

It was about creating a sophisticated product that was rooted in SiriusXM content—its fans, its history, and all the nuances of the platform that so many had become accustomed to over the past two decades.


A Changed Landscape

When Sirius launched a national satellite radio service in 2002, the media landscape looked a lot different.

Only a small minority of U.S. homes had broadband Internet. Most people used their cellphones exclusively for making phone calls. And the idea of having Internet in your car seemed impossible.

About a decade later, SiriusXM wanted to take a fresh look at what its subscribers loved about the service, and what they’d like to see changed. So Code and Theory collaborated with the company on designing and executing an ethnographic study in the summer of 2013. In addition to users, the research project also included interviews with Sirius employees at every level.

The feedback and learnings from the study served as the foundation for the entire project.


The Feedback


The data revealed some interesting insights.

Some of the most interesting results related to each user’s digital aptitude—especially the Boomer set. Other learnings focused on people’s patterns of behavior and how they change throughout the day.

For example: Regardless of their loyalty in the car, users increasingly relied on alternatives for audio entertainment on their phones, tablets, and desktops.

In other words, SiriusXM found itself in a situation not unlike HBO, in which the best marketing strategy was to emphasize its quality content. To make that content more accessible, though, it had to make sure the user experience was as seamless as possible.

“The idea was that Sirius is sort of a companion for your everyday life, not just something you listen to in the car,” said Jody Hankinson, group UX director at Code and Theory.



The result was a seamless new experience that lived across all devices and leveraged SiriusXM’s relationships, data, subscriber base and content in powerful new ways:


Hitting the Market

In April 2015, SiriusXM unveiled its newly redesigned interface across the desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

The launch itself represented a major step in the company’s quest to becoming the number one high-quality portable audio service for listeners everywhere.

The reimagined platform bridged the gap between competitors and poised the company to redefine itself for a new era.

Evolving E-Commerce To Fit Modern Audiences

We are shaping the digital transformation of the industry by creating strong connections between audiences and brands.

Gawker 2
Bustle Digital Group - Gawker

Gawker | Don't Call It A Comeback.

An entertaining and engaging experience, all while still bringing a touch of class and sophistication.

Read More

Evolving the Financial Services Model

We’re transforming an antiquated industry through cutting-edge design and driving the future of finance forward.

Spotify Feature

Artists don't just make art. They make money too.

Building a bigger funnel to help artists grow on Spotify.

Read More
College Board| Positioning The College Board As An Integrated Partner For Students

Transfiguring An Integrated Student, Parent And Educator Experience

<p><strong>Transfiguring An Integrated</strong> Student, Parent And Educator Experience</p>

Transfiguring an integrated student, parent and educator experience.

Read More
Rally| Elevating The Site Experience For A Crypto Pioneer

Elevating The Site Experience For a Crypto Pioneer

<p><strong>Elevating The Site Experience</strong> For a Crypto Pioneer</p>

Elevating the site experience for a crypto pioneer.

Read More
Coned Additional

Building a future vision for Clean Energy in New York

ConEd tapped us as AOR to lead an integrated, purpose-driven marketing partnership to educate a multitude of audiences

Read More
  • A new brand strategy that ties ConEd’s clean energy vision to its purpose
  • An integrated creative campaign to showcase ConEd’s clean energy vision to its customers
Award WebbyW3 0031Ad Age 0023


  • Code and Theory

    Webby Awards

    2022 Best Magazine – Websites and Mobile Sites
  • Code and Theory

    W3 Awards

    2021 Best in Show General Websites-Associations
  • Code and Theory

    Ad Age

    2020 Agency A-List

All Work

Says a Lot —


News — 

Ad Age | Top 5 Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Efforts To Know About Right Now

News — 

PRNewswire | Stagwell (STGW) Digital-First Creative Agency Code and Theory Launches Industry's First Holistic Inclusive Design and Marketing Strategy Discipline

News — 

Ad Age | Marketing In The Metaverse —What Science Fiction Can Teach Brands About Web3

News — 

Code and Theory’s Dan Gardner named Campaign US 40 Over 40 honoree

News — 

Muse by Clio | Don't Talk to Me About NFTs and the Metaverse

News — 

AIGA Eye on Design | The Era of Rebellious Web Design Is Here

News — 

Webby Awards | Code and Theory Named Webby Winner in 26th Annual Webby Awards

News — 

The Drum | Adland's reaction to Musk's $44bn Twitter deal: 'a major disruption to its ad business'