Tag Archives: Stitcher

Apple, YouTube, and Facebook Removed Alex Jones’ Content



Last week, Spotify deleted several episodes of The Alex Jones Podcast. The reason was because that content violated Spotify’s hate content policy. Stitcher removed Alex Jones’ podcasts on August 2, 2018. Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have followed with their own bans.

Buzzfeed News reported that Apple removed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts Apps. Among them were War Room and Alex Jones Show.

Buzzfeed reported a statement from Apple that said:

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcast that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

CNBC reported that YouTube, which is owned by Google, has removed the Alex Jones Channel.

CNBC reported that Google said in a statement regarding the removal of the page: “All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.”

Facebook provided information about why they removed four videos on four Alex Jones Facebook pages in a newsroom post titled: “Enforcing Our Community Standards”.

It starts with: “We believe in giving people a voice, but we also want everyone using Facebook to feel safe. It’s why we have Community Standards and remove anything that violates them, including hate speech that attacks or dehumanizes others. Earlier today, we removed four Pages belonging to Alex Jones for repeatedly posting content over the past several days that breaks those Community Standards.”

Toward the end of the post, Facebook said: “As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page, and the InfoWars Nightly News page. In addition, one of the admins of these Pages – Alex Jones – was placed in a 30-day block for his role in posting violating content to these Pages.”

Facebook also removed more content from the same pages that had been reported to them. Facebook took it down for glorifying violence, which violates Facebook’s graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describes people who are transgender, Muslims, and immigrants, which violates their hate speech policies.

On August 2, 2018, Stitcher posted a tweet that said: “Thanks for your note. We have reviewed Alex Jones’ podcasts and found he has, on multiple occasions, harassed or allowed harassment of private individuals and organizations, (1/2)”

Stitcher followed that with a second tweet: “and that harassment has led listeners of the show to engage in similar harassment and other damaging activity. Therefore, we have decided to remove his podcasts from the Stitcher platform.”


Stitcher has a Breakthrough Fellowship Program



Stitcher is beginning a Breakthrough Fellowship program for Fall 2018. Those who participate will be based in either Stitcher’s New York or Los Angeles offices. The fellowship will run for four months beginning in fall 2018. It is a full-time position and will pay $25 per hour pre-tax.

Stitcher is a pioneering podcasting network behind hit shows including Stranglers, Levar Burton Reads, Dear Franklin Jones, Unladylike, and The Sporkful.

We believe the podcast industry’s workforce should reflect society at large, in all its diversity. The Stitcher Breakthrough Fellowship is designed to help recruit diverse talent and promote inclusivity in podcasting. It will provide valuable industry experience and connections, close mentorship, published work for your CV, and the possibility of joining the team at Stitcher full time in the future.

During the fellowship, you will gain broad exposure to various stages of podcast production. Depending on your skills and interests, you could be matched with an existing show or new production, or you may be paired with the show development team to work on finding talent, piloting and launching new shows.

Stitcher is seeking applicants who identify as one or more underrepresented groups in podcasting. Areas of underrepresentation could include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, economic background, sexual orientation, age, and/or ability.

Interestingly, the Fellowship is not specifically aimed at college graduates. It is open to producers from any media, as well as journalists or writers who want to move into podcast, and other people specializing in audio or media. You should have at least 3 years of work experience.

For more information about the Stitcher Breakthrough Fellowship, including how to apply for it, you should visit the Scripps website where the position is posted.


Stitcher Releases Lineup of Original Podcasts



Stitcher RadioPodcast-consumption app Stitcher has gone thru a lot of changes over the last few years. Once hailed as the second-largest destinations for podcast listeners after Apple Podcasts, Stitcher’s fortunes have faded somewhat during this transitional period. The service was sold twice, with the latest acquisition coming from Scripps/Midroll/Earwolf. Last year, it was announced that Howl, Earwolf’s premium content platform, would be migrated into Stitcher. But the company isn’t stopping there. Stitcher announced this week it would be launching a collection of original shows of its own that won’t be kept behind a paywall:

…with a handful of popular shows joining together to form a new network. Shows on the new Stitcher network are available for free everywhere listeners access podcasts, including iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud and Stitcher itself, and are supported through advertising.

Stitcher’s new original show lineup consists of these podcasts:

  • Katie Couric podcast (news, politics. current events, pop culture)
  • The Sporkful (food)
  • First Day Back (serialized non-fiction narrative/documentary style podcast)
  • The Longest Shortest Time (parenting)
  • Tell Me Something I don’t Know (gameshow)

Stitcher also announced it has an upcoming show that focuses on reading hosted by LeVar Burton of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow fame.


Stitcher Launches Stitcher Premium Subscription Service



Stitcher RadioPodcast 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.


E.W. Scripps Buys Stitcher



Stitcher RadioE.W. Scripps has acquired the popular podcast listening service Stitcher. Those of you who have a podcast on Stitcher may have received an email about this acquisition.

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 facilitates discovery and streaming for more than 65,000 podcasts to 8 million registered users.

Both E.W. Scripps and Stitcher have stated that Stitcher is now part of Midroll Media. The Stitcher announcement states that Midroll is a podcast production company and advertising network. It is the parent company of the Earwolf network, the Howl premium subscription service, and the Midroll advertising network (which is owned by E.W. Scripps).

Stitcher states that Stitcher listeners will continue to have access to audio through Stitcher’s apps. Email that was sent to podcasters who have their podcasts available on Stitcher states that those podcasts will still be available via the Deezer platform. The E.W. Scripps press release states that Scripps and Deezer agreed to a $4.5 million cash purchase price.

The email sent to podcasters who have podcasts on Stitcher states that there are no plans to shut down the Stitcher service. Instead, they plan on accelerating improvements to the Stitcher platform as well as launching new content partner services in the coming year.

The Wall Street Journal says that a person familiar with the acquisition called it an “acquihire”. Stitcher’s dozen employees will join Midroll.


Podcasts Now Available thru Deezer



Deezer logoIt seemed inevitable that podcasts would eventually come to Deezer, the streaming service that acquired Stitcher last year. Earlier this month, Deezer added over 20,000 podcasts and radio shows to its catalog. Previously, the platform had only been delivering music to its subscribers.

Deezer is based in France. As such, the new spoken-word content is being rolled out first in its home country as well as European neighbors Sweden and United Kingdom. The company will expand this new offering to other countries over time but no exact timeline has been provided as to when it might reach the rest of the world.

A complete directory of Deezer’s podcasts isn’t immediately available online. But the company is working with partners like Slate, Financial Times, NPR and WNYC to provide its initial spoken word content. It seems only logical that all of Stitcher’s catalog would eventually be rolled into Deezer, and that the Stitcher platform itself would be killed off. Regardless, it looks like Deezer’s podcast directory will be similar to Spotify in that it’s a closed environment, available only to those who have access to a partnership.

If Stitcher is destined to be ultimately subsumed into Deezer, there’s some hope that Stitcher’s partner portal will go with it. In which case, we can expect Deezer’s podcast directory to be open to user submissions. In the end, if companies like Spotify and Deezer really want to compete with Apple in terms of podcast consumption, they’ll need catalogs that carry everything the space has to offer. Not just shows produced by big names and heavy hitters.


Spotify Could Be the Next Big Podcast Directory



spotify logoDigital media platforms are all about one thing: content. Apple has known this for years, and that’s why the company has expanded its iTunes Store to include much more than just music. And while Apple was a trailblazer in its adoption of podcasting, other players have followed suit over the years. Now, it looks like Swedish music streamer Spotify is poised to add podcasts to its own platform.

According to Bloomberg Business, Spotify has held some talks with potential content partners that would bring podcasts to its streaming music player. It’s not yet known who these potential partners may be, or if the Spotify platform will be as open as the iTunes Store in terms of accepting podcast submissions.

The article notes that Spotify is already streaming some content similar in nature to podcasts:

Spotify, which hosts some podcast-like audio such as Spanish lessons along with millions of songs, plans to add more non-music programming, according to the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. While the discussions have occurred for several months, there is no firm plan or introduction date, one of the people said.

One problem that all music streaming services face is the high cost of licensing songs from major labels. Since podcasts are ostensibly free, Spotify adding them to its platform would be an easy way to bolster its catalog with a diverse array of content without having to cut big royalty checks to producers. Podcasting within Spotify may even include video, allowing users to switch between audio and video on the fly.

This news follows other recent moves by Spotify competitors. Last year, Apple acquired Swell, a spoken word-focused audio streaming app, and Deezer bought out Stitcher. It’s still unclear as to why the bigger companies in both those deals even made these moves. But in the end, it all comes down to the content. Everyone’s looking for more of it or at least, different ways to curate and distribute it.


5 Posts to Revisit from the First Year of Podcaster News



PCNNEW.fwToday marks the first anniversary of the unofficial launch date of Podcaster News (and that’s no April foolin’). We’ve presented a lot of news, how-to’s, and commentary on podcasting over the last year. And we’re looking forward to continuing that coverage into the future. I took a look back thru the Podcaster News archive and put together a list of posts from our first year that are worth revisiting. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Beware of Podcast Snake Oil Sellers Promising Riches: This is the first post I contributed to the site that really got some attention. During the first quarter of 2014, it seemed like everyone and their other had launched a podcast training course. This post was a word of caution to new podcasters that they should be weary of teachers/consultants who charge high prices with the promise of great “podcasting riches” down the road.
  • 54 Seconds (The Wadsworth Constant): Jackson Rogers wrote about “The Wadsworth Constant,” a kind of law that dictates that the first 30% of any online video can be skipped in order to get to the real content. The Wadsworth Constant applies to more than just video. There’s definitely a lesson here for podcasters, too.
  • A Decade of Podcasting: Podcaster News founder and executive editor Todd Cochrane takes a look back at the first ten years of his podcasting journey.
  • Is Swapping Reviews Hurting Podcasting?: Dave Jackson takes a look at something that’s really turned into a phenomenon over the last year; iTunes review swapping. Dave breaks down what swapping is and offers some commentary on why it’s really not helping anybody.
  • Norm Pattiz of PodcastOne: “We were looking at acquiring Stitcher.” – PCN Show 008: It seemed only fair to include at least one episode of our fledgling Podcaster News Show. This episode turned out to be a real bombshell as I was able to interview Norm Pattiz during last year’s drama between PodcastOne and Stitcher.

Thanks to all of the readers and contributors here at Podcaster News for making it a spectacular first year! If I missed anything memorable from the last twelve months, let me know in the comments.


Norm Pattiz of PodcastOne: “We were looking at acquiring Stitcher.” – PCN Show 008



Norm PattizIn response to the article I posted yesterday about the recent dust up between PodcastOne and Stitcher, I was contacted today by a PodcastOne rep who said that the company’s Chairman/CEO, Norm Pattiz, was willing to do an interview to try and shed some light on the situation. I’m presenting that interview today (with Norm’s permission) as my November contribution to the Podcaster News Show.

Some highlights from our discussion:

  • PodcastOne was, at one point, considering acquiring Stitcher.
  • Stitcher is still syndicating some of PodcastOne’s show, despite PodcastOne’s request that they stop.
  • PodcastOne hasn’t seen any significant decrease in downloads since Sitcher removed PodcastOne’s shows.
  • Pattiz says Sitcher doesn’t have a “robust” revenue generating system.

Hear all of this and more in the full podcast episode below.

Original image by PeteSessa from Wikimedia, used under Creative Commons license.