Radio giant, iHeartMedia, boosts their investment into the steady growing podcasting business with their acquisition of Stuff Media.
The biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., iHeartMedia, acquired one of the largest podcasting companies, Stuff Media for $55 million, according to people familiar with the mater. Podcasting attracts younger, more engaged audiences as they transition from traditional broadcast radio to digital platforms. With this acquisition, iHeartMedia is investing in the podcasting business, a small but growing medium.
Bob Pittman, iHeartMedia Chief Executive, said of the acquisition, “Stuff Media is the original trailblazer of the podcasting industry, and we’ve been impressed by its ability to grow a massive, loyal audience over the past decade, led by a strong, experienced and cohesive management team, who we welcome to iHeartMedia. This strategic acquisition will pair Stuff Media’s wildly popular content and strong creative capabilities with iHeartMedia’s extensive resources and massive scale through our digital platforms, social reach and broadcast radio stations, introducing podcasts to the vast majority of the country and offering even more unique opportunities for advertisers to reach their consumers.”
Podcast listening has grown 73% over last year leading to iHeartMedia’s “podcast, meet broadcast” initiative to enable podcast creators to scale their audience through their broadcast radio stations with iHeartMedia’s broadcast radio stations reaching over 90% of Americans every month.
Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as the head of their podcast division maintaining Stuff Media’s podcast branding efforts and remain headquartered in Georgia.
Byrne said of the acquisition, “Combining our assets with the #1 audio and media company, and #1 commercial podcast publisher, gives us the unassailable position in the podcasting business and a platform like no one else. No company in the world has iHeart’s audience size and innovative drive, and coupled with the creative engine of Stuff Media, this is a game changer for podcast storytellers and advertisers alike, and I’m honored to be leading this effort.”
Byrne will report into Darren Davis, President of the iHeartMedia Networks Group and iHeartRadio while Chris Peterson has been promoted to EVP of the podcasting division for iHeartMedia. Peterson will oversee the full slate of iHeartRadio’s Original podcasts, as well as manage the affiliate relationships for the company.