Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, buys Pocket Casts

What you need to know

  • Popular podcast app Pocket Casts has been bought by Automattic.
  • Automattic is the company behind WordPress.com and Tumblr.

The app was previously owned by NPR but was known to be losing money.

Popular podcast listening app Pocket Casts has been bought by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and Tumblr. The app was previously owned by NPR, but was known to be losing money. It isn’t yet clear what Automattic plans to do to change that.

Announced via a WordPress blog post earlier today, the move sees Pocket Casts change hands once more, around three years after it last went through a similar process. Automattic has confirmed that co-founders Russell Ivanovic and Philip Simpson will stay on however, leading the Pocket Casts team under the Automattic brand.

As part of Automattic, Pocket Casts will continue to provide you with the features needed to enjoy your favorite podcasts (or find something new). 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.

With more than 80 million people listening to podcasts in the United States alone, Automattic knows there’s an audience out there. But with Apple’s Podcasts app the most popular by far across Apple devices, there is no shortage of competition in the podcast app space.

All eyes will be on the folks at Pocket Casts and Automattic to see what comes next, but the app already has a Pocket Casts Plus option that incurs a monthly charge for access to a desktop app and Apple Watch app.

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