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Top podcast producers, including NPR, acquire Pocket Casts

One of the leading Android podcast apps, Pocket Casts, was just acquired by NPR and three other major podcast producers.

Published onMay 3, 2018

pocket casts

  • NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, and This American Life just banded together to acquire podcast app Pocket Casts.
  • The companies are going to alter the leadership structure of the app’s management, but probably leave the app itself alone.
  • It is likely NPR wants access to the user data of Pocket Casts to help with future podcast development.

An unprecedented collaboration between four of the top podcast producers – NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, and This American Life – took place today, when the four collective entities acquired leading podcast app Pocket Casts.

Over the past ten years, Pocket Casts has become one of the highest-rated apps dedicated to podcast listening and discovery on both Android and iOS. It made our own list of the 10 best podcast apps for Android.

The new owners of the app promise “to improve discovery for listeners, provide podcast producers with better insights, and to enable creators to connect with audiences around the world.”

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However, it doesn’t appear that the collective wants to change much about Pocket Casts. The four entities say that Pocket Casts users will continue to enjoy the features they’ve become accustomed to such as custom playlists, playback speed controls, a web interface, and filtering.

It’s more likely that public radio wants to have deeper access to the stats and user insights Pocket Casts can give them, so they can adjust their business plans accordingly.

Don't worry: Pocket Casts' new owners probably just want access to your listening habits and nothing more.

Laura Walker, the president and CEO of NPR, said, “Pocket Casts will enable us to forge a closer relationship with our listeners, provide audiences with more ways to enjoy audio programming, and create a more tailored discovery experience that helps listeners find their next must-listen podcast.”

With that in mind, if you’re a Pocket Casts user you probably don’t have much to worry about. NPR and the gang just want to have a better look at how you listen to podcasts so they can make more and better podcasts for you to devour. Even Google anticipates podcasts to be a media platform of the utmost importance.

Plex is adding podcasts and has even bigger plans for the future

Since Pocket Casts will now be under the umbrella of a public radio company, the board of Pocket Casts will be comprised of representatives of the public media. Owen Grover, whose previous jobs include stints at iHeart Radio and Clear Channel, will be the new CEO of Pocket Casts. The co-founders of the app, Philip Simpson and Russel Ivanovic, will remain in non-descript “leadership roles.”

You can click to button below to purchase Pocket Casts.

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