According to The Wall Street Journal, SiriusXM Holdings is near a deal to buy E.W. Scripps Company’s Stitcher podcasting unit for around $300 million. Stitcher runs a free podcast listening app and a premium $4.99 monthly service that lets subscribers listen to podcasts without ads. It also owns podcast networks including Earwolf and Stitcher Podcasts.
Variety points out that the deal is not finalized at this point, according to a person familiar with the talks. The pact is intended to vault SiriusXM into a premier position in the U.S. podcasting business, expanding the satellite radio company’s footprint across all audio-entertainment formats.
By buying Stitcher, SiriusXM would become a major podcast player — and it would continue M&A in the still-hot sector, following Spotify’s buying spree over the past year (which has included buying Gimlet Media and The Ringer).
Stitcher’s podcasts include “Freakonomics Radio,” “How Did This Get Made?”, “SuperSoul Sunday” from the Oprah Winfrey Network, “Office Ladies,” “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” “Literally! with Rob Lowe,” “LeVar Burton Reads,” “Comedy Bang! Bang!” and “WTF with Marc Maron.”