SiriusXM is shutting down Stitcher as part of an overhaul of podcast strategy

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SiriusXM is ending the Stitcher Podcast

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Credit: Stitcher

SiriusXM has announced that it is shutting down its Stitcher podcast app in favor of its own. Here’s the latest.

At the height of the pandemic, SiriusXM acquired podcast app Stitcher for $325 million in July 2020. Stitcher provided a one-stop shop for early players in the podcasting scene. It operated the Midroll Media network for podcast advertising and operated multiple content networks through Earwolf. While the Stitcher app shuts down, the podcasts shut down remain available now in the SiriusXM app.

Existing Stitcher users get a six-month free trial of the SiriusXM service. While the consolidation won’t involve any layoffs, I’m not sure people will be happy with the change. The Stitcher app was designed as a “podcast first” experience that is gradually disappearing as Spotify dominates the podcast landscape. SiriusXM says it will overhaul its own app later this year to increase usability. Spotify’s own redesign didn’t go over well with hardcore music listeners.

Autoplay when opening an app in Spotify has angered many as Spotify attempts to mimic TikTok’s Discovery feed. “There’s already been a litany of frustrations that are never addressed in their crappy UI, but switching to an annoying TikTok layout is truly surreal,” reads a comment on Spotify’s recent redesign. “What’s even worse is that you can’t even turn off autoplay in settings,” reads a reply to this comment.

Whether SiriusXM will commit to TikTokification of its app remains to be seen. Shutting down the Stitcher app and sticking with the well-known brand might be worth it for the older listeners. The Stitcher app and website will stop working on August 29, 2023. At its peak, the app had 14 million users, so it’s only been downhill since its acquisition in 2020.

Podcasting studios Spotify, Vox Media and Pushkin Studios all announced layoffs in January 2023. SiriusXM cut 8% of its workforce, or roughly 500 jobs, in March 2023 as enthusiasm for podcasts waned.