July 26, 2021

Pocket Casts has a new owner… again


The parent company of WordPress.com and Tumblr will acquire podcast player Pocket Casts from a public media consortium that included NPR among other organizations.

Automattic announced that it is looking forward to creating integrations with its WordPress.com product — it only promoted a new CMS plugin from Spotify-owned podcasting company Anchor in February — and that the app’s co-founders, Russell Ivanovic and Philip Simpson, will be joining the company as well.

Podcast Media LLC, Pocket Cast’s owners since 2018, and its shareholding members have yet to make a statement about this deal as of press time.

NPR noted in its most recent financial statement in December that the board of the group was looking for a buyer for the app with the goal of divestiture by this October. The group, which currently includes New York Public Radio, Chicago Public Media, and the BBC, struggled to monetize the app with the introduction of paid features and lost a significant portion of their investment.

Pocket Casts is the second pickup Automattic has made in as many months — it bought journaling app Day One in June.

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