SiriusXM has announced it will shut down its podcast app Stitcher in favor of its own. Here’s the latest.
During the height of the pandemic, SiriusXM acquired the Stitcher podcast app for $325 million in July 2020. Stitcher provided a one-stop-shop for early players in the podcasting scene. It operated Midroll Media network for podcast advertising and it ran multiple content networks through Earwolf. While the Stitcher app is shutting down, the podcasts will remain available on the SiriusXM app now.
Existing Stitcher users will get a free trial for six months of the SiriusXM service. While the consolidation comes with no layoffs, I’m not so sure people will be happy with the change. The Stitcher app was designed to be a ‘podcast first’ experience, which is increasingly disappearing as Spotify dominates the podcast landscape. SiriusXM says it will revamp its own app later this year to increase usability. Spotify’s own redesign hasn’t played too well with hardcore music listeners.
The autoplay upon app open in Spotify has upset many, as Spotify attempts to mimic TikTok’s discovery feed. “There was already a litany of frustrations that never get addressed in their sh*tty UX but switching to an annoying TikTok layout is truly surreal,” reads one comment about Spotify’s recent redesign. “What’s worse is you can’t even turn off the autoplay in the settings,” reads a reply to that comment.
Whether SiriusXM will be committing to the TikTokification of its app remains to be seen. Shutting down the Stitcher app and focusing on the well-known brand may payoff for its older-skewing 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 gone nowhere but downhill since its acquisition in 2020.
Podcasting studios from Spotify, Vox Media, and Pushkin Studios all announced layoffs in January 2023. SiriusXM cut 8% of its workforce, or around 500 jobs in March 2023 as the fervor around podcasting has cooled.