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Scripps Acquires Stitcher

Stitcher Midroll Scripps DeezerEW Scripps continues its expansion in the Podcasting realm with the purchase of the Stitcher Radio app from Deezer for $4.5 million.

Stitcher will become part of Scripps’ Midroll subsidiary that includes the eponymous Midroll podcast advertising network, the Earwolf podcast network and the Howl premium subscription podcast service. The France based Deezer had acquired Stitcher in October 2014 to integrate into its streaming music platform. All of Stitcher’s employees will join Scripps.

INSTANT INSIGHT: The deal gives Midroll a distribution platform to pair with its production and ad sales units. As Midroll Vice President of Business Development Erik Diehn told the Wall Street Journal, “For the first time we’ll have significantly more ability to help with podcast discovery, to help with distribution, to help shows grow, and to help find out what audiences want in a way that we could not do before.”

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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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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