SiriusXM Pandora finalizes acquisition of Stitcher podcast service

(Logo: SiriusXM/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

SiriusXM Pandora said on Monday it had completed its $325 million acquisition of podcast platform Stitcher, a move that is intended to bolster the streaming audio company’s portfolio of content and advertisement opportunities.

“With this acquisition, SiriusXM adds Stitcher, a longtime pioneer in podcasting, to its leading audio entertainment platform,” the company said in a press release. “By combining Stitcher’s leading programming and advertising networks with SiriusXM’s existing suite of hosting and ad technology tools, the Company expands its pre-eminent position in digital audio advertising while generating new ways for creators to find and connect with a broader audience.”

Earlier this year, SiriusXM Pandora announced it would buy Stitcher away from the E.W. Scripps Company for $265 million in cash right away and another $60 million over the next two years depending on the previous year’s financial results.

Scripps acquired Stitcher in 2016 for $4.5 million.

Stitcher operates a handful of podcast production companies that churn out hit shows like “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and “Freakanomics.” Coupled with its advertising service Midroll, Stitcher has generated revenue in the tens of millions of dollars for Scripps; last year, the company earned $72.5 million in advertising and subscription revenue.

“With Stitcher and its varied assets, we are now a one-stop shop able to meet the needs of podcast creators, publishers and advertisers, while also providing listeners with access to great shows, series and programming,” James Meyer, the outgoing chief executive of SiriusXM Pandora, said in a statement on Monday.

As part of the deal, all Scripps employees working on Stitcher will be transferred to SiriusXM.

Thanks for reading and supporting The Desk. If you have a question, comment or news tip, send a message by email or text, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Also, check out our new membership service The Desk: Pro Access for exclusive reporting, news scoops and in-depth analysis.