NEW YORK CITY – Top podcast listening service Stitcher has launched a lineup of original podcast programming, with a handful of popular shows joining together to form a new network. Shows on the new Stitcher network are available for free everywhere listeners access podcasts, including iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud and Stitcher itself, and are supported through advertising.
The offering is part of Stitcher’s long-term strategy to build a robust library of content that is free and supported by advertising to complement its subscription-based offering, Stitcher Premium.
Stitcher’s inaugural lineup includes listener favorites:
• “Katie Couric” features the award-winning journalist and TV personality and co-host Brian Goldsmith in candid, unscripted conversations with some of the biggest names in news, politics and pop culture. Recent interviews include Dan Taberski, creator of hit podcast “Missing Richard Simmons”; entrepreneur Tony Robbins; actor Alec Baldwin; and comedian Samantha Bee. “Katie Couric” joins Stitcher from Earwolf.
• Top food podcast “The Sporkful,” a long-running series hosted by Dan Pashman, launches as a Stitcher show on April 17. “The Sporkful” isn’t for foodies, it’s for eaters. Each week, Pashman talks with entertainers and regular folks about food and, in the process, learns more about them as people. Past guests have included Rosie Perez, Amy Sedaris, Jim Gaffigan, Alton Brown and Margaret Cho. The podcast was recently nominated for a James Beard Award and a Webby Award.
In new episodes, Pashman talks to actor Kumail Nanjiani about why he thinks all Islamophobes should try Pakistani food; recreates Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks’ pancakes recipe; explores the science of taste memory at the new Broadway production of “Sweeney Todd”; and tracks down a famous sandwich shop in Aleppo, Syria. Listen to the trailer at sporkful.com/stitcher.
• Documentary filmmaker Tally Abecassis launched the second season of “First Day Back,” a serialized, non-fiction show about coming back from something that changes you, on April 11. In the new season, Abecassis unfolds the story of Lucie Paquette and Gerry Madaire, lovebirds who were together for 13 years, until the fall of 2010, when she shot and killed him. Abecassis follows Paquette after her release from prison as she reconnects with family, gets a job and deals with the emotional aftermath of Madaire’s death.
• “The Longest Shortest Time,” the award-winning parenting show for everyone, is also making the move to Stitcher from Earwolf. Host Hillary Frank takes a broad view of parenting, examining topics ranging from birth stories to parents’ relationships with grown children and adults’ decisions on whether or not to even have children. The podcast, which has been named a “best of” by TIME, The Atlantic and Slate, is back with new shows on April 12, with an episode featuring actor and comedian Rob Huebel talking about his daughter’s 117-day stay in the NICU after being born nearly four months early. This season also has Frank diving into issues including the pressure of dating with the purpose of finding the father of your children; the rising trend of egg freezing; and multi-cultural parenting.
• Season two of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” a live-journalism game show hosted by Stephen J. Dubner, author of the “Freakonomics” books and creator of “Freakonomics Radio.”
Stitcher also has several new series in the pipeline, including an as-yet-untitled reading podcast with actor LeVar Burton (of “Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Reading Rainbow”).
“We want people to think of Stitcher as not only a great listening platform but also a home for a rich offering of original audio programming,” said Jenny Radelet, executive producer of original content for Stitcher. “We’ve already produced almost 50 original shows available exclusively on Stitcher Premium. Expanding our roster to include free, ad-supported shows felt like the next logical step.”
“Creating new content under the Stitcher brand helps us do a couple of important things: continue to serve Earwolf listeners the best comedy shows in podcasting; and create a new destination for well-produced programming of all kinds — journalism, smart talk shows and investigative reporting,” said Chris Bannon, chief content officer for Midroll.
With the addition of the Stitcher network, Midroll now represents 300 shows for advertising, including over 40 that are owned-and-operated. Contact Midroll for more information about advertising opportunities.