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Pocket Casts joins Automattic

Automattic:

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.

Pocket Casts has been my preferred podcast app for years. I use it every day during my commute to and from work and while I mow the lawn. I really appreciate how easy it is to queue up a few days worth of episodes – cherry picking both from my current subscriptions and from any podcast in the world – so that I don’t have to make those decisions while driving. The interface is clean, works on all of my devices. I awarded it best mobile app in 2018, runner up in 2019 and 2020. I paid for desktop access without blinking because I wanted to support the team.

I think Automattic is a great home for Pocket Casts.

Like the Tumblr acquisition it seems as though Automattic may have purchased Pocket Casts for a very good deal. It seems that financially speaking the company wasn’t doing very well. But finances aren’t the only metric with which to measure the value of a service like Pocket Casts. Just because their owners hadn’t yet figured out their model doesn’t mean the app isn’t good. In fact, I would say that the majority of Pocket Casts users are fans of Pocket Casts. So however Automattic decides to go to market with Pocket Casts they are starting with a product that is very good and very solid.

WordPress.com seems overdue for a push into podcasting and having an app that they control the user experience of makes perfect sense to me.

I believe this will play out to show that Matt Mullenweg (and, no doubt, his M&A team at Automattic) have made very solid and inexpensive pickups over the last few years that will end up being far, far larger than the sum of its parts.

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