Pocket Cast, widely regarded as one of the best mobile applications for listening to podcasts, has been acquired by a collective group that includes NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago and This American Life . " This unprecedented collaboration promotes the leading role of public radio as an innovator in audio discovery and distribution, while ensuring the continued support and growth of one of the most popular listening platforms in the market," said the companies in a press release announcing News. That team of stations and podcast producers are responsible for some of the greatest successes of the format such as This American Life (duh), Serial, Radiolab, and Planet Money.
In the future, Pocket Casts will operate as a joint venture between the new owners. Founders Philip Simpson and Russell Ivanovic, who launched the application along with their team at Shifty Jelly in 2008, will have unspecified "leadership roles". The existing staff and the team of developers stand still. Owen Grover, a veteran of iHeartRadio / Clear Channel, has been named CEO of Pocket Cast. NPR applications, including NPR One, will continue to be developed.
The purchase price is not disclosed. But the people behind Pocket Casts insist that they chose this path not because of what the buyers paid, but because of who they are. "We have had acquisition offers in the past," said Ivanovic The Verge by email. "We reject them because the only thing about this opportunity is the mission-driven nature of these organizations, they want the best for the podcast space, they want to build open systems that everyone can use."
The movement occurs when more and more technology companies try to serve as the destination for podcasts. Apple has its own very popular Podcasts app for iOS, Spotify is trying to get people to listen to them in their music app in real time, and Google also offers podcasts as part of Google Play Music. Apart from that, you have excellent options like Overcast in iOS and other smaller developer applications. Everyone has their favorite way of listening, and that is why the presenters have basically just said something in the sense of "available wherever you get your podcasts".
For those of us who have used and enjoyed Pocket Casts, should be good news and point to a promising future. The application is beautifully designed, it's fast and works wonderfully on iOS, Android and the Web for people with multiple devices running a software combination.