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SiriusXM buys podcast business Stitcher for $325 million

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SiriusXM is acquiring the podcast and Internet radio service Stitcher from E.W. Scripps Co. for $325 million, the companies announced Monday.

The move gives Sirius, a company mostly known for its satellite radio channels, a leg up in an increasingly competitive podcast industry. (Spotify has significantly expanded its podcast offerings with a number of acquisitions and exclusive deals; iHeartRadio and Apple are industry leaders in publishing and distribution.)

Stitcher offers a free podcast listening app in addition to a premium service for $4.99 a month with bonus content and ad-free listening. It also has a podcast network of its own with dozens of original shows, including Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Freakonomics Radio, and Literally! with Rob Lowe. Sticher’s advertising unit, Midroll Media, distributes and sells advertising for roughly 250 shows, including WTF with Marc Maron and My Favorite Murder.

Sirius expanded outside its traditional revenue stream of satellite radio subscriptions in 2018 with the acquisition of Pandora for $3 billion. It followed that up with a multi-year deal with Disney last year for Sirius and Pandora to produce original podcasts with Marvel Entertainment.

“The addition of Stitcher is an important next step as we continue to develop and strengthen our offering in the fast-growing podcasting market,” Jim Meyer, chief executive of Sirius, said in a statement. “With Stitcher, we will expand our digital audio advertising presence and look to generate new ways for creators to find and connect with their audiences.”

The deal is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of this year.

Stitcher was purchased by Scripps in 2016 for $4.5 million. Scripps then went on to combine it with Midroll, which it had bought the year before for $50 million.

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Lyron Foster is a Hawaii based African American Musician, Author, Actor, Blogger, Filmmaker, Philanthropist and Multinational Serial Tech Entrepreneur.

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