Pocket Casts on the seller block due to cost-saving measuresAlthough it was in wide regard as one of the top podcasting applications available, financial statements reveal that it was not a profitable venture. Moreover, it did not fare well for one of its majority stakeholders. Financial statements and the subsequent auditor’s report from the 2020 tax year reveals this, as NPR lost more than $800,000 on the venture alone. This sparked the NPR Board of Governors to meet last December, resulting in the listed sale of the platform to potential suitors.
No financial information on sale is availableCurrently, there are no financial details relating to the acquisition. However, it is possible that Automattic may have gotten a bargain on Pocket Casts. That is, if its co-owners were also losing money. Automattic is seemingly gaining a reputation for acquiring apps that people love to use, breathing new life into those companies to allow them to have a fighting chance at attaining financial stability and longevity. Previously, they’ve acquired blogging platform Tumblr and journaling platform Day One. This acquisition may also be sparking further growing interest in podcasting technologies, considering a $756,000 investment in Castos and a recent partnership with the Anchor podcast creation platform, currently owned by Spotify.
No changes are currently in the worksAnnouncements relating to the acquisition assure that no changes are in the works for current Pocket Casts customers. However, the announcement from Automattic made no promises and did not share much in detail regarding their future plans. Integration with WordPress.com may be a future feature, but that is currently in the exploration stage. There were no announcements in relation to WordPress.org websites in self-hosting environments. “As part of Automattic, Pocket Casts will continue to provide you with the features needed to enjoy your favorite podcasts (or find something new),” Automattic’s Head of Apps Eli Budelli said. “We will explore building deep integrations with WordPress.com and Pocket Casts, making it easier to distribute and listen to podcasts. We’re thrilled that we can continue to give our users a multitude of ways to tell and engage with stories that matter.” Pocket Casts co-founders Russell Ivanovic and Philip Simpson will continue as leads of the project as part of the acquisition. EDITOR’S NOTE: Heartland Newsfeed utilizes the WordPress.org self-hosted platform for its online operations. Heartland Newsfeed Podcast Network is on the Pocket Casts platform.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.