SiriusXM to Close Its Stitcher Podcast App and Site in August

SiriusXM is shuttering its Stitcher podcasting app and merging podcast delivery into its flagship SiriusXM subscription offerings. As of August 29, “the Stitcher app and web listening experience will be disabled,” the company told users this week. Stitcher offered listeners the choice of free-to-listen ad-supported programs or a la carte show subscriptions. It also had the $4.95 per month ($34.99 per year) Stitcher Premium, providing a wide variety of ad-free podcasts. “Subscribers can listen to podcasts within the SiriusXM app and will see an all-new listening experience later this year,” the company said.

A memo distributed to SiriusXM staff indicates the company will be “incorporating podcasts more holistically into our flagship SiriusXM subscription service,” noting podcasts continue to be “a crucial accelerant for our advertising sales business,” according to Variety, which adds “in most cases, according to SiriusXM, podcast fans will still be able to listen to ad-supported versions of shows that have been on Stitcher on other platforms.”

“As of Tuesday (June 27), SiriusXM said it will turn off automatic renewals of all Stitcher Premium subscription plans,” writes Variety, noting that “where applicable, refunds will be issued to Stitcher Premium subscribers who purchased a plan directly from Stitcher via the original payment method.”

Stitcher introduced its podcast app in 2008. SiriusXM acquired Stitcher from E.W. Scripps in a 2020 deal worth an estimated $325 million. Scripps acquired it via its Midroll Media unit, which purchased Stitcher for $4.5 million in 2016.

Los Angeles Times writes that SiriusXM is shutting down Stitcher “amid a broader retreat for the once white-hot sector.” Spotify this month announced it is laying off “200 people in its podcasting division amid a broader restructuring, which included the consolidation of Gimlet and Parcast, two audio production companies it acquired.”

Consolidation is sweeping across the industry at large. In March, SiriusXM announced 475 job cuts, which is roughly 8 percent of its workforce. On this go-round, SiriusXM is reassigning staff in lieu of layoffs, according to Variety.

SiriusXM says it expects to continue operating the content producers Stitcher Studios and Earwolf Podcast Network. The broadcaster says its flagship SiriusXM Podcast Network remains unchanged.

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