E.W. Scripps has acquired the podcasting service Stitcher for $4.5 million from Paris-based music subscription service Deezer, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Scripps now plans to run Stitcher as part of its Midroll Media podcast advertising unit.
Stitcher launched in 2008 as a podcast aggregator. In addition to its website listing some 40,000 podcasts, Stitcher also has podcasting apps for Android and iOS. The company got acquired by Deezer in 2014; details of that deals were never disclosed, but the Journal described it as an acquihire.
Stitcher now changing hands again could be seen as indicative for two trends: Firstly, there is money in podcasting. Podcast have gotten renewed attention from audiences and advertisers alike since the breakthrough success of “Serial.” Scripps spent $50 million on Midroll last year to capitalize on the medium.
However, Deezer saying good-bye to Stitcher also goes to show that podcasts may not be what music subscription services need to differentiate their apps from their competition.