Yesterday, SiriusXM formally announced that it is acquiring Stitcher.
According to the press release, the transaction will involve $265 million in cash payment to Scripps, with an additional $60 million on the table based on performance goals through 2020 and 2021. This puts the value of the deal at $325 million, officially making this the most expensive podcast acquisition to date. The transaction is expected to close sometime in the third quarter. Until then, SiriusXM and Stitcher are expected to operate independently.
In a note circulated to employees, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer wrote of the move:
With this acquisition, SiriusXM’s combined properties will contain the largest addressable audience in the U.S. across all categories of digital audio — reaching over 150 million listeners. With our team’s collective expertise in digital audio, analytics and ad tech, plus Stitcher’s deep experience in podcasting, I see significant opportunities ahead. Together, we can create a transformative one-stop shop to better meet the needs of podcast creators, publishers and advertisers — while also providing listeners with new ways to find and connect with great shows.
Emphasis mine, mostly to draw attention to how SiriusXM seems to be view itself (i.e. primarily as a monetization and distribution entity) in contradistinction to Stitcher.
If you missed my analysis on the deal in last week’s newsletter, you can find it here.