For those not in the know, Stitcher is a free app that’s responsible for streaming over 65,000 podcasts. It publishes for a wide variety of clients including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC. Today the prolific little company was acquired by E.W. Scripps, and going forward it will operate under the podcast advertising company Midroll Media. Scripps previously acquired Midroll Media to the tune of $50 million.
Midroll Media is a bit of a different animal from Stitcher. The company sells ads for approximately 230 popular programs, but users are able to pay five bucks a month to receive their podcasts ad-free. Scripps believes that the acquisition of Stitcher for $4.5 million will help them advance their interests in the podcasting arena. “We certainly have the ad sales force and the connections that make us a leader in the space, but today we depend almost exclusively on distribution into other channels,” said Scripps’ chief digital officer Adam Symson. “This puts in place, with a very strong brand, another piece of the puzzle in the ecosystem play.”
Stitcher had been previously acquired by Deezer in 2014 for an undisclosed price. The new Scripps acquisition from Deezer will see all 12 Stitcher employees joining up with Midroll. The purchase is part of an ongoing trend on the part of Scripps, which has been gobbling up digital media like crazy. Just this April, the media company snagged Cracked.com from Demand Media for the hefty sum of $39 million, and they also acquired Newsy not too long ago.
What are your thoughts regarding Stitcher’s podcasting services being conscripted to the will of E.W. Scripps? Let us know in the comments below!