SiriusXM confirmed on Monday that it will purchase podcasting company Stitcher for $325 million. This move will situate the satellite radio giant more competitively against its rivals, Spotify, Apple, and iHeartMedia, “for dominance of the podcasting space,” according to The Verge.
The E.W. Scripps Company, Stitcher’s parent company, announced the agreement in a press release on Monday. It claimed that the $325 million sale price is “a return of more than double Scripps’ investment in podcasting over the last five years.” Scripps CEO Adam Symson exclaimed how growth is a priority for the company. “This sale is consistent with Scripps’ track record of growing businesses that capitalize on the evolution of consumers’ media habits and then unlocking shareholder value through spinoffs, exits and continued organic growth,” Symson said. Scripps purchased the Stitcher app for $4.5 million in 2016.
Stitcher offers an ad-free, subscription-based podcasting service through its app. Its network, combined with Scripps’ Earwolf comedy podcasting service, produces popular shows like Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. Sirius will also gain ownership of Midroll, a podcast advertising firm, which was purchased by Stitcher in 2015. Midroll sells advertisements for podcast shows including The Dream and Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. Sirius is known for buying out its competitors, having acquired Simplecast earlier this year, and Pandora Radio in 2018 for $3 billion.
Scripps is a major media player, operating 60 television stations in 42 markets and running a newsroom in Washington, D.C. As part of the agreement, all Stitcher employees will move to SiriusXM. The sale is expected to finalize in the third quarter pending Federal Trade Commission clearance. BakerHostetler is serving as legal counsel for Scripps.