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.

Scripps Acquires Midroll Media

Midroll LogoThe E.W. Scripps Media Company has acquired Midroll Media, a Los Angeles based company that has been around for five years. Midroll Media creates original podcasts and operates a network that generates revenue for more than 200 shows.

One of those shows is WTF With Marc Maron which is an incredibly popular podcast, even before he interviewed President Barack Obama. Other shows include Startup and StarTalk Radio, a podcast that is hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson.

Midroll Media’s name is derived from the term for commercials placed mid-way through a podcast. It is the largest podcast sponsorship network. It has more than 240 advertisers. In addition to creating revenue streams, Midroll Media has always been a “content first” company. It creates and distributes 35 original podcasts via its owned-and-operated comedy and pop-culture driven networks.

Midroll Media recently launched an app called Howl. It gives people an easy way to access every episode of Earwolf and Wolfpop. The app also lets people view the latest tweets from the hosts and listeners of those podcasts, view behind-the-scenes photos, and discuss shows in their forums. It combines photos and community elements for each podcast.

Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It owns 34 radio stations in 8 markets.

Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and digital journalism and information businesses, including mobile video service Newsy and weather app developer WeatherSphere.

You can hear more about this acquisition in a special episode of The Wolf Den. The episode features Scripps’ Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Digital Media, Adam Symson, and Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development, JB Kropp.

Hollywood Reporter reports that Midroll will remain based in Hollywood and will continue to be led by Midroll Media CEO Adam Sachs. Midroll Media has been acquired for an undisclosed price.