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Summary:

Stitcher, the Pandora of Internet talk radio, has raised $10 million as it capitalizes on the opportunity in non-music streaming radio. The company will use the money to improve the product, enhance the platform for content providers and build out a direct ad sales force.

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Stitcher, the Pandora of Internet talk radio, has raised $10 million as it capitalizes on the opportunity in non-music streaming radio. The San Francisco company raised the money from New Enterprise Associates, which led the round, along with money from existing investors Benchmark Capital, New Atlantic Ventures, and other individual investors, including Ron Conway.

Stitcher, which has raised a total of $20 million, allows users to build personalized talk radio stations drawn from 6,000 different shows that cover news, entertainment, sports, comedy. The service in the last year has quadrupled listening time, more than doubled registered users and is now up to 3.4 million registered users. The company more recently launched on Sonos and the iPad  and struck a deal to be included on new Buick cars .

Noah Shanok, CEO of Stitcher, said the company will use the money to improve the product, enhance the platform for content providers and build out a direct ad sales force. Stitcher has been running display ads and is in the process of testing in-stream audio ads similar to what Pandora has run. Shanok said to expect more audio ads later this year as the sales team gets hired.

Shanok said talk radio represents 35 percent of the terrestrial radio market and generates $5 billion in annual advertising revenue. While Pandora and Spotify are exploiting the music side of Internet radio, he said Stitcher has much less competition on the talk side. It’s too early to talk about a Pandora style IPO, said Shanok. But with the way things are going, it could be on the horizon.

  1. There is more opportunity to segment and monetize talk radio’s vertical niches than internet radio. The listeners of financial talk or a Science Friday-like podcast are more valuable to their advertisers and than a dubstep internet radio channel.

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  2. The Stitcher guys are great, glad to see they’re doing so well!

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