SiriusXM, a company most well-known for its satellite radio channels, is buying the podcasting company Stitcher from E.W. Scripps in a deal worth $325 million. The company confirmed the deal today after The Wall Street Journal first reported it last week. The move sets Sirius to compete even more seriously against Spotify, iHeartMedia, and Apple for dominance of the podcasting space.
Stitcher is not only a popular podcasting app with a premium, ad-free subscription service, but it’s also a network that, combined with its other entity Earwolf, produces shows like Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. Scripps also combined Stitcher with Midroll Media, a podcast ad company that sells ads for other shows like The Dream and Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness that it acquired in 2015 for $50 million. The Sirius deal will give it ownership of all these companies, which, in some cases, could be redundant with what it already owns and operates.
For one, Sirius owns Pandora, which it acquired in 2018 for $3 billion. Pandora, of course, is a popular place to listen to music and podcasts and also has its own exclusive content deals, like one with Marvel that was signed last year. It also owns AdsWizz, a podcast ad technology company that places ads in shows. It’s unclear how AdsWizz and Midroll might work together or if the companies will merge and share talent and clients. Earlier this year, Sirius also acquired Simplecast, a podcast hosting platform where podcasters can manage their show distribution and content. The strategy behind that purchase was to bring all aspects of podcasting in-house, including ads, distribution, and podcast hosting.
Full Content: Wall Street Journal