Podcast syndication platform Stitcher has launched a new premium tier. Appropriately called Stitcher Premium, the new paid version of the service was announced in a recent e-mail:
…we are launching Stitcher Premium, a new premium subscription option for Stitcher listeners. Stitcher Premium includes:
*Ad-free Listening – Premium removes the extra ads that Stitcher includes in our free product and also includes completely ad-free episodes of top shows like ‘WTF with Marc Maron,’ ‘Comedy Bang! Bang!,’ ‘Stranglers’ and many more.
*Bonus Episodes – extra bonus episodes of popular shows available exclusively on Stitcher Premium. Listen to bonuses from ‘Game of Owns,’ ‘Superego,’ and ‘Harris Football,’ with more still to come.
*Stitcher Originals – over 40 exclusive shows created and produced by Stitcher, from the comedy adventure of ‘Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium’ to the parody of ‘Hardcore Game of Thrones.’ The Stitcher Originals catalog is growing into the largest catalog of ad-free premium audio.
*Comedy Albums – listen to over 120 comedy albums from comedians like Louis CK, Maria Bamford, Aziz Ansari, and Hannibal Buress.
According to its FAQ, Stitcher Premium will replace Stitcher’s previous premium service, Stitcher Plus. Stitcher Premium launch pricing is $4.99/month or $34.99/year. Also from the FAQ, Stitcher reveals that Stitcher Premium will eventually replace Midroll’s Howl app (Midroll parent E.W. Scripps acquired Stitcher earlier this year) :
(Q) I’m also a Howl app subscriber – weren’t you guys bought by Midroll and isn’t this content the same that comes with Howl?
(A) Yes! You can still access your Howl content via the Howl app. We are working on a migration plan for Howl subscribers to Stitcher Premium – stay tuned!
In the e-mail quoted above, Stitcher also noted that podcasters who are currently listed with Stitcher can ask to be included in Stitcher Premium by contacting Stitcher directly. But the e-mail doesn’t say anything about what benefits, if any, come from being included in Premium. Will podcasters who get accepted into Stitcher Premium receive a revenue share from subscriptions? Is Stitcher Premium only for “premium” content that’s not available thru a podcast’s public RSS feed? Hopefully, these questions will be answered soon.