SiriusXM to buy podcast business of Scripps for up to $325 million

(Reuters) - Sirius XM Holdings Inc said on Monday it will buy E.W. Scripps Co’s podcast business, Stitcher, for up to $325 million, as the U.S. satellite radio company pushes further into the podcast space.

Stitcher streams popular podcasts such as “Freakonomics Radio”, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and “My Favorite Murder” and will help SiriusXM better compete with the podcast libraries of Apple Inc and Spotify Technology SA.

Last year, SiriusXM signed a multi-year deal with Walt Disney Co, allowing it to create exclusive weekly podcasts including five new series on popular Marvel characters such as Wolverine, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Star-Lord.

SiriusXM, which bought online music service Pandora Media Inc in a $3.5 billion deal in 2018 to compete with streaming giants such as Spotify, has been investing to bolster its podcast business.

Under terms of the deal, SiriusXM will pay $265 million in cash to Scripps, followed by $60 million in additional contingent payments based on Stitcher achieving certain financial metrics in 2020 and 2021.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020, the company said.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur