The team at iHeartMedia sees the growth of podcasting and has decided it is real. The company announced on Thursday that it’s buying Stuff Media, a huge publisher of podcast content, including the HowStuffWorks podcasting business, as well as a slate of premium podcast content. The Wall Street Journal pegs the purchase price at $55 million.
This acquisition comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of iHeart’s partnership with HowStuffWorks to launch season two (and subsequent seasons) of this year’s biggest podcast, Atlanta Monster.
Stuff President/CEO Conal Byrne joins iHeart as head of the podcast division, reporting to iHeartMedia Networks Group and iHeartRadio President Darren Davis. Stuff Media is, the companies said, “the leading for-profit publisher of entertaining and informative podcast content, which includes the HowStuffWorks podcasting business as well as a slate of premium podcast content.”
NOTE: Darren Davis will join Ed Ryan live at 9:30 a.m. on Podcasting for Radio Dummies, Friday morning, to discuss the HowStuffWorks purchase. You can listen on our Facecbook page HERE or on Spreaker. The interview will also be archived HERE.
iHeartMedia Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman said, “While podcasting has already experienced tremendous growth, the real opportunity to bring the full potential of podcasts to the mainstream still lies ahead. 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.”
Conal Byrne will also remain president and CEO of the Stuff Media studio, and the company’s programming will keep its branding and remain headquartered in Atlanta. At iHeart, SVP/Podcasting Chris Peterson is promoted to EVP of the podcasting division, overseeing the iHeart Original podcasts and managing affiliate relations. He reports to Byrne.
Darren Davis said, “In the past year alone, iHeartMedia’s podcasting has exploded. Our robust slate of originals spans a wide range of topics, and we’re continuing to forge partnerships to bring the most compelling series to the iHeartRadio Podcast Network.”