One of the most successful audio titles, Freakonomics Radio, is moving to Stitcher this summer, according to an announcement sent out this morning by Midroll Media, which controls Stitcher. Both Midroll and Stitcher are owned by E.W. Scripps.
The partnership includes an ambition to expand the Freakonomics brand by developing new content — no details on that yet. One spinoff show already exists, the live game show Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, hosted by Freakonomics creator Stephen J. Dubner, and already has a content and advertising relationship with Stitcher, and that will continue.
“Stitcher has proven itself best-in-class in the podcasting world,” said Dubner. “And they are absolutely packed with talent, from the business side to the editorial side. I can’t wait to get to work with them.”
Interestingly, the back catalog of Freakonomics Radio will be available exclusively on Stitcher and the Freakonomics website. That maneuver gives the controlling parties (Stitcher, Midroll, and Freakonomics) control of audience measurement in the archive — important for a show with non-topical “evergreen” past episodes. When Scripps/Midroll acquired Stitcher from music service Deezer in June, 2016, part of the rationale was control of metrics. “We’ll now have an entrée into that last mile to the podcast getting delivered,” Midroll CRO Lex Friedman told RAIN News at the time. “It’s challenging to know what’s really happening in terms of listening behavior […] If we can keep growing that Stitcher piece, we’ll be able to get a lot more insight into how listeners are listening, what they’re listening to, what the completion rates are, are they skipping ahead, are they listening straight through.”
New episodes of Freakonomics Radio will continue to be available in all distribution points, such as the Apple Podcasts app.
The program serves 12-million downloads per month. It is also broadcast on hundreds of public radio stations, and Sirius XM.