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SiriusXM Buying Stitcher Podcasting Unit For $300M From Scripps: Report

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SiriusXM Buying Stitcher Podcasting Unit For $300M From Scripps: Report

Sirius XM Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: SIRI) is set to purchase Stitcher Inc, a unit of E.W. Scripps Co (NASDAQ: SSP) for nearly $300 million to expand its presence in the podcasting segment. 

What Happened

The satellite radio operator’s move to purchase Stitcher is similar to the strategy adopted by Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) and iHeartMedia Inc (NASDAQ: IHRT), reported the Wall Street Journal.

Stitcher’s service allows listeners to enjoy podcasts without advertisements at $4.99 per month or they can sign up for a free app. 

Why It Matters

Scripps had purchased Stitcher in 2016 for $4.5 million in cash, and it operated as a part of Midroll Media, a podcast industry leader, which Scripps acquired in 2015.

Stitcher owns Earwolf and Stitcher Podcats, which publishes 50 shows such as “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and “Freakonomics Radio,” noted WSJ.

The company’s Midroll Media unit distributes and sells advertising for 250 podcasts like “My Favorite Murder” and “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations.”

In 2018, Sirius purchased Pandora Media Inc for $3.5 billion, a company that generates most of its revenue from advertising and also has podcast expansion plans. 

Last year, Walt Disney Co’s (NYSE: DIS) Marvel Entertainment agreed to create exclusive content for Sirius and Pandora.

According to WSJ, podcast revenue in the United States touched $678.7 million last year and is slated to reach 863.4 million in 2020. The revenue will exceed $1 billion by 2021.

Price Action 

Sirius XM shares traded 0.17% higher at $5.88 in the after-hours session on Monday. The shares had closed the regular session 0.51% higher at $5.87.

E. W. Scripps shares traded 6.79% higher at $8.97 in the after-hours session on Monday. The shares had closed the regular session 1.45% higher at $8.40.

 

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