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SiriusXM close to acquiring podcast aggregator Stitcher

The premium audio giant has made aggressive purchases in recent years as it looks to diversity beyond satellite radio.

The premium audio giant has made aggressive purchases in recent years as it looks to diversity beyond satellite radio.

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

Satellite radio and streaming audio juggernaut SiriusXM is closing in on a deal to purchase Stitcher, a podcast aggregator and production company, according to a report.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal said a deal between SiriusXM and Stitcher’s parent E.W. Scripps could be valued as high as $300 million, according to their sources. E.W. Scripps acquired Stitcher from streaming music company Deezer just four years ago for $4.5 million, the Journal said.

The podcast aggregator offers a free app on phones and tablets along with a supplemental website that allows users to subscribe and collect free Internet-distributed shows for on-demand listening. In addition to t its vast catalog of podcasts, Stitcher owns several production companies that produce around five dozen shows, including Earwolf, the producer of hit podcasts “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and “Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Bang! Bang!”

SiriusXM’s interest in Stitcher continues a trend in the audio industry of large companies collecting podcast startups. Over the last two years, competitors Spotify and iHeart Media have acquired podcast production companies in an effort to lure both advertisers and listeners.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).