Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Scripps Acquires Podcaster Stitcher

The E.W. Scripps Company has acquired popular podcast listening service Stitcher, which facilitates discovery and streaming for more than 65,000 podcasts to 8 million registered users.

Stitcher is one of the most established and popular streaming audio listening brands. It is accessible via free iPhone and Android apps, on the dashboard of more than 50 car models and at stitcher.com.

Stitcher will operate as part of Midroll Media, a leader in the podcast industry that was acquired by Scripps in July 2015. The Stitcher acquisition significantly broadens Midroll’s consumer base and technology capabilities.

“The Stitcher brand is recognized to be an early mover and innovator in on-demand audio, especially with connected cars,” said Adam Symson, chief digital officer for Scripps. “Stitcher’s data-driven technology has made it a leader in podcast discovery and audio distribution, which will complement Midroll’s leadership in content creation and advertising sales.”

Stitcher’s backend technology and user experience tackle one of podcast listening’s biggest challenges: new content discovery.

“At Midroll, we’ve always been impressed with Stitcher’s incredible reach and pioneering work in the audio landscape,” said Erik Diehn, vice president of business development for Midroll. “Together, we can accelerate the podcast industry’s growth and further our combined mission to connect ever larger audiences with even more great shows.”

Stitcher was founded in 2008 and purchased in 2014 by French music streaming service Deezer. Its team of 12 will join Midroll and operate out of San Francisco. Stitcher’s General Manager and Vice President of Product Todd Pringle will lead all of Midroll’s product development and will have continued responsibility for the Stitcher product development team. Stitcher’s sales and editorial staff will join their Midroll colleagues in their respective disciplines.

Scripps and Deezer agreed to a $4.5 million cash purchase price.

“Combining Midroll’s leadership in great audio storytelling and advertising with Stitcher’s expertise in product development and technology will accelerate the growth of both companies,” said Pringle.

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