May 3, 2018

Group of public radio outlets purchase podcasting app

NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, and This American Life have teamed up to acquire Pocket Casts, an open platform podcast creators to create and distribute podcasts, the companies announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It's a shared attempt by the radio industry to push the podcast industry forward, which they hope will help bolster public radio. NPR, WNYC and others have been champions of the podcast movement, with hit successes in "Serial" and "Freakonomics."

  • Former iHeartRadio General Manager Owen Grover has been named CEO of Pocket Casts as a part of the announcement.
  • The groups involved in the acquisition say they have collectively experienced more than 170 million downloads per month, thanks in large part to the growth of podcasts.
  • In a statement, Laura Walker, President and CEO of New York Public Radio, which includes WNYC Studios, says the acquisition will help create a "more tailored discovery experience" that helps listeners find their next must-listen podcast.
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