The popular podcasting app Pocket Casts has been bought by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and Tumblr. The app was previously owned by NPR, but it was known to be losing money. It’s still unclear what Automattic plans to do to change that.
Announced through a WordPress blog post Today, the move causes pocket pitches to change hands once again, around three years after they went through a similar process. Automattic has confirmed that co-founders Russell Ivanovic and Philip Simpson will remain, however, leading the Pocket Casts team under the Automattic brand.
As part of Automattic, Pocket Casts will continue to provide you with the features you need to enjoy your favorite podcasts (or find something new). We’ll explore building deep integrations with WordPress.com and Pocket Casts, making it easier to distribute and listen to podcasts. We are delighted that we can continue to provide our users with a multitude of ways to tell and interact with stories that matter.
With more than 80 million people listening to podcasts in the United States alone, Automattic knows there is an audience out there. But with Apple’s Podcasts app, by far the most popular among Apple devices, there is no shortage of competition in the podcasts app space.
All eyes will be on the folks at Pocket Casts and Automattic to see what’s next, but the app already has a Pocket Casts Plus option that incurs a monthly charge for access to a desktop app and the Apple Watch app.