Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

iHeartMedia Acquiring Stuff Media and Creating a Podcast Empire

Article Featured Image

In a sign of how popular podcasting has become, audio company iHeartMedia announced today that it's acquiring podcast provider Stuff Media. While the two companies aren't disclosing any numbers, the Wall Street Journal puts the deal at $55 million.

iHeartMedia was already active in the podcasting space, as it partners with major podcast providers such as NPR, WNYC, ESPN, and Gimlet, to distribute over 20,000 podcasts through its iHeartRadio Podcast Network. It also creates over 750 original shows.

iHeartMedia uses the reach of its radio network to market podcasts to listeners. Called the "Podcast, Meet Broadcast" initiative, it helps creators expose their work to a far larger audience. iHeartMedia and Stuff Media announced this type of partnership last week at the Podcast Upfront in New York City, when Conal Byrne, president and CEO of Stuff Media, said new series "Monster: The Zodiac Killer" will premiere exclusively on the iHeartRadio broadcast network in January 2019, and then be distributed through the iHeartRadio Podcast Network. Byrne will now iHeartMedia as the head of the podcast division.

"The HSW deal gives iHeartRadio an already-built and proven team for producing hit podcasts at scale," says Darren Davis, president of iHeartMedia Networks and iHeartRadio. "They’re experts at creating valuable branded audio content. They’ve been pioneers in the podcast space and their team is second to none."

While the podcast market feels saturated already, iHeartRadio notes that listening for its own podcasts is up 73 percent year-over-year from 2017 to 2018. With those kind of numbers, acquiring Stuff Media—creator of "Stuff You Should Know," the first podcast to reach 500 million downloads on iTunes—makes sense.

"Everyone is trying to do something in the podcast space, but as the number one audio company, we are seriously doubling down on our podcasting commitment," Davis adds. "It’s a vital extension of our audio relationship with our massive audience. iHeart reaches 272 million listeners a month on broadcast radio, and we will use that megaphone to bring podcasting to the masses. Rapidly."

Stuff Media podcasts will keep their branding post acquisition, and the group will keep its Atlanta, Georgia, headquarters.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

Will Ferrell, Shonda Rhimes, Questlove Creating Podcasting Slates

Entertainment celebrities are no longer content to create their own personal podcasts. The power play now is creating an entire slate of new productions.

Searching for Answers: Where Did All the Video Podcasts Go?

It's been a long time since Diggnation and Best Week Ever, but podcasting used to have a lot of video available. Why did audio take over the medium?

Podcasts Break Out: Audio Platform Goes Beyond the Headphones

At the fourth annual Podcast Upfront, presenters showed that downloads were just the beginning. Here come the distribution deals, live events, and albums.

Podcasters Woo the Media at Third IAB Podcast Upfront in NYC

With revenues soaring to $220 million this year and popular series becoming mainstream sensations, times have never been better for podcasters.

What Higher Education Can Learn From Podcasts: How to Go Long

Why do long-form video lectures get dull in a hurry, while long-form podcasts remain engaging? Because podcasts are built on conversations.