Friday, July 16, 2021

Pocket Casts Acquired by Automattic

Chance Miller:

Following its acquisition of the popular Day One journaling app last month, Automattic has announced that it is also acquiring the popular podcast application Pocket Casts. For those unfamiliar, Automattic is the company behind and Tumblr.

Eli Budelli (Hacker News, Slashdot):

As part of Automattic, Pocket Casts will continue to provide you with the features needed to enjoy your favorite podcasts (or find something new). We will explore building deep integrations with and Pocket Casts, making it easier to distribute and listen to podcasts.


Co-founders Russell Ivanovic and Philip Simpson will continue to lead Pocket Casts as part of Automattic.

Ashley Carman:

Pocket Casts launched in 2010 and sold to NPR and a group of other public media groups eight years later. […] It started monetizing through a program called Pocket Casts Plus, which charges users a monthly subscription fee for features like desktop app access and a standalone Apple Watch app, in 2019.

Pocket Casts initially went up for sale in January after its board of public media members voted to do so. The app, which is free to download, was losing money, and NPR reportedly lost $800,000 on it last year.


6 Comments RSS · Twitter

NPR’s share of the loss was more than $800,000.

How in the world? That's a story I'd like to hear more about. I know, eg, Marco talks about all the syncing he has to do and how he centralizes RSS reads, etc, but $800k worth of it?

What did it do that I'm missing? (I haven't used Pocket Casts in years.)

Interesting. I didn't realize they were purchased by NPR.

I had used Pocket Casts years ago, when Apple first screwed up theirPodcasts app. But they fixed it and I went back. But after the 14.5 screw up, I switched permanently to Pocket Casts.

Hopefully they will maintain it well and not screw it up.

Why is NPR speculating in tech start-ups?

During their next fundraising cycle, I hope they mention this loss as a reason you should give them money.

Although it sad to see Pocket Casts sold again, it's better than it shutting down. It is still my favorite podcast app, especially since it is cross platform. I bought the pro version for each of my devices and I wouldn't mind buying another copy. I just hope they don't force current users to a subscription service.

>How in the world?


>Why is NPR speculating in tech start-ups?

This wasn't tech speculation, NPR makes podcasts, and they wanted better access to their listeners. Apparently, the cost wasn't worth whatever they got out of it.

Kevin Schumacher

A decade later, it's hardly a startup anymore, either.

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