Pandora for Talking: Stitcher Updates App How You Like It

Stitcher is a growing player in personalized Internet radio, an area dominated by Pandora

Stitcher, the leading mobile app for news and talk radio, has launched an update aimed at impacting talk radio as Pandora has done for music radio. 

Stitcher is personalized internet radio for everything but music, offering on-demand and live shows including NPR, Rush Limbaugh and 10,000 more.

Available as an app on Apple products, those that run the Android operating system and the Kindle Fire, the most significant feature in the update is the “Smart Station,” which recommends new shows based on your listening history and what other people are listening to.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it's similar to Pandora’s Music Genome Project, which makes music recommendations.

The emphasis, as with many apps or new web products, is on discovery — how can users find the content they want or that they should want.

 “It becomes universally more important because the internet in all of these different mediums has allowed us access as listeners or users to more content than we could possibly ever consume,” Noah Shanok, CEO of Stitcher, told TheWrap.

With upwards of 5 million registered users, the company has a much smaller base than Pandora. However, it has been expanding quite a bit since it secured an extra $10 million in venture capital funding last September.

And it is positioning itself for more growth. It even has struck deals with car companies like BMW and GM to get its app embedded in their cars. Shanok said he believes that market is core to his business.

“Fifty percent of radio is consumed in the car,” he told TheWrap. “About half of that is talk morning radio. It’s Stitcher on the way to work and Pandora or Spotify on the way home.”

The app now features a sleep timer and makes it easier to share what you are listening to across social networks. Yet the key remains discovery.

“For a new user, 50 percent of them in the first month of listening discover five or more new shows,” he said.