Stitcher Radio

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FoundedAugust 8, 2008; 11 years ago (2008-08-08)
FoundersNoah Shanok
Peter deVroede
OwnerMidroll Media
Number of employees
ca. 12
ParentE.W. Scripps Company Edit this on Wikidata
Footnotes / references

Stitcher is an on-demand Internet radio service that focuses on news and information radio and podcasts. It provides free online streaming through the website and via native mobile applications such as the Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Palm webOS. It has been described as "the most popular alternative to the default Apple podcast app" as of 2016.[2]

The company was founded in August 2008[3] and is privately held and venture backed.[4]

Stitcher aggregates content from thousands of content providers and organizes the content into "stations" that listeners can browse and listen to. Audio content is delivered from large media providers such as AP, BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, TechCrunch, and thousands of smaller providers.[5] Content is kept continually up to date via Stitcher's proprietary back-end application, allowing listeners to have access to fresh content while on the go without having to sync their mobile device. However, this access may require costly usage of mobile data in contrast to true podcasts which can be synced through WiFi Internet access and listened to "on the go".[citation needed]

In October 2014, music streaming service Deezer announced that Stitcher Radio would be merging into Deezer, and that by 2015 users would be able to use Stitcher Radio features within Deezer.[6] In June 2016, it changed ownership again, becoming a subsidiary of E.W. Scripps Company in the U.S., as part of Midroll Media.[2] At that time, Stitcher was reported to have around a dozen employees.[2] A representative of Midroll dismissed concerns that it would convert Stitcher into a walled garden ecosystem.[2]

Usage and features[edit]

Stitcher streams podcasts to the listener's phone on-demand, rather than requiring the media be downloaded to the device. Stitcher 3.0 for the iPhone (released in December 2009) introduced live streaming to the app, which allowed users to select on-demand shows and live streamed talk-radio programming.

A user can add shows to their favorites station using the “Add to Favorites” button. iPhone users can choose to receive SMS updates when their favorite shows are updated. When new content becomes available, Stitcher can also send an email message to a user alerting them that the show was updated, along with a direct-play link.[7]

Stitcher offers an Editor's Picks station that provides listeners access to the content editor’s favorite shows.[8]

Stitcher also offers stations targeted to specific local audiences.[9]


The application provides personalization via a "favoriting" scheme, whereby listeners can "favorite" content they like; Stitcher then aggregates this content in the listener's favorite station.[10] Stitcher also uses a proprietary customization algorithm to order stations according to a user's listening habits. The personalization algorithm influences which audio shows are recommended to the user. It draws on data such as listening patterns to personalize the content of each station according to the listener's interests and gains more knowledge about the listener over time. Listeners can also "stitch" together a personalized list of their favorite shows.

The service has been compared to Pandora. In 2008, a CNET reporter wrote that Stitcher "is to news and information what Pandora is to music."[11][12]

Stitcher and internet radio in cars[edit]

A screenshot of Stitcher Radio's web app.

At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally announced a partnership between Ford, Stitcher, Pandora and a Twitter client called OpenBeak that would bring internet radio into Ford vehicles.[13]

Following this announcement, General Motors has also announced partnerships with Stitcher and Pandora.[14]

Platform support[edit]

Stitcher is currently available as an Android app, as an iOS app, as an in-browser app,[15] and for Sonos Players.[16][17]

Stitcher was first introduced to Apple App Store in August 2008, as Stitcher made the native app available in private beta to 100 testers. The native app provided the same interface as the web application along with features such as automatic updates and "interrupt handling" during phone calls.[18]


Stitcher has been criticized and boycotted for some of its business practices for posting content from Podcasts without permission then collecting ad revenue.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Stitcher Radio at Crunchbase
  2. ^ a b c d Quah, Nicholas (2016-06-07). "Hot Pod: Is the Stitcher deal a step toward a closed podcast ecosystem?". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  3. ^ "Stitcher Launches Personalized Radio iPhone App In Private Beta - TechCrunch". TechCrunch. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  4. ^ "Benchmark backs Stitcher Radio for $6MM". TechCrunch. April 6, 2010.
  5. ^ "Stitcher, Inc. Announces Partnerships with Leading Publishers and Content Providers: Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, Fox News Radio, Air America Media, POLITICO,, TechCrunch, Quick & Dirty Tips and AOL Weblogs including Engadget, Switched, The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Joystiq" (PDF). Landing Page. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-01.
  6. ^ "page 1588".
  7. ^ Kincaid, Jason (14 May 2008). "Stitcher Streams Customized Audio Feeds to Your iPhone". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Editors Picks on Stitcher".
  9. ^ "iPhone killer-app is letting users choose software". CIO Insight.
  10. ^ "Stitcher Streams Customized Audio Feeds to Your iPhone". TechCrunch.
  11. ^ "First Look at Stitcher". CNET. August 12, 2008.
  12. ^ Constine, Josh (8 August 2012). "With Installs Up 400%, Stitcher Sounds Like The Pandora Of Talk Radio". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Ford Sync CES Announcement". USA Today. January 7, 2010.
  14. ^ "GM Announcement: GM Relaunches OnStar with WiFi". September 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Download Stitcher Radio". October 17, 2016.
  16. ^ "How to Add Streaming Services to Your Sonos Player". October 17, 2016.
  17. ^ "Stitcher Smart Radio - Update your settings". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Stitcher Launches Personalized Radio iPhone App In Private Beta". TechCrunch. August 8, 2008.
  19. ^ Kennedy, Michael (2016-07-05). "Stitcher and Talk Python Podcast: A Farewell Letter". Michael Kennedy on Technology. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  20. ^ "E.W. Scripps Buys Podcast Company Stitcher". Daring Fireball. 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  21. ^ Hardwick, Chris (September 13, 2011). "The Stitcher Situation". Nerdist. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  22. ^ "Deezer buys podcast app Stitcher". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  23. ^ "The Future of Podcasting". 7 June 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Episode 082 — A Podcast About Podcasts - Exponent". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Apple's actual role in podcasting: be careful what you wish for –". Retrieved 7 September 2018.

External links[edit]