In a world increasingly dominated by podcasts, it’s somewhat surprising to hear that Stitcher, a well-known curator of podcasts and live radio stations, is preparing to close its doors. SiriusXM, the parent company of Stitcher, recently announced that they are refocusing their energy on “incorporating podcasts into its primary SiriusXM subscription service” and are eager to roll out an enhanced listening experience in the near future.
During its heyday before the pandemic, Stitcher was in the spotlight, hosting popular titles such as Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, SuperSoul Conversations by the Oprah Winfrey Network, and Freakonomics Radio. After SiriusXM’s acquisition, these high-profile shows were transferred to Pandora. Stitcher was also known for its unique collection of original content, with shows like Sold in America, Just Between Us, and Wolverine: The Lost Trail, which revolved around the famous Marvel Comics character.
Stitcher’s planned shutdown implies that the company, which SiriusXM acquired first in 2014 and then again in 2020, will soon cease operations. The Stitcher app and website will officially retire on August 29, though SiriusXM will continue to back content from the Stitcher Studios and Earwolf networks.
For those who’ve been with Stitcher through thick and thin, the company offers a feature that allows you to export your favourite content to a different platform. You can do this by navigating the mobile app’s settings to “Export My Shows” and saving the OPML file, which you can then import to other podcast apps or even email.
When it comes to the future of Stitcher’s audio content pages, the majority will relocate to Pandora, Stitcher’s sister platform. However, the company has remained somewhat vague regarding the fate of the creators’ content, stating on their FAQ page that “hosts/creators will determine availability and accessibility of their shows.” Any listener analytics are also set to disappear unless the audio content was hosted on a separate service.
Stitcher currently places the responsibility on creators to inform their listeners about where to find their content next. If you’re a listener planning to move from Stitcher, you might want to check out Pandora or the SXM apps, where you can continue to enjoy a range of podcasts and talk shows.
The discontinuation of Stitcher also affects Stitcher Premium subscribers. Automatic renewals will stop on June 27, and annual subscriptions due to renew before the August 29 closure will also be automatically cancelled. Monthly renewals will be halted once the current billing cycle ends.
For those with annual subscriptions extending beyond the closing date, the company plans to offer a “prorated refund” for the remaining period post service discontinuation. Depending on the original payment method for the Premium subscription, your refund will either be credited to your bank account or to your Apple App Store or Google Play Store wallet.