Blog Post

Stitcher gets political, lets users follow presidential candidates

News and talk radio app Stitcher, is gearing up for the presidential elections with a dedicated election service that allows users to follow their favorite candidate and get elections news from select sources. The Mobile Election Center tab inside the Stitcher app will give users a chance to get information directly from the different campaigns and also gather election-related news from outlets like Slate, CBS News, Marketplace, Bloomberg, PRI and MSNBC and others.

The update to the Stitcher app, available on iOS (s aapl) and Android (s goog), is sort of a no-brainer for Stitcher, whose users spend 70 percent of their time listening to news and political content. For people who like to listen to their news, they can hear speeches from candidates and get podcasts and news reports from the sources they follow. Stitcher will also push out notifications when new content is available about a candidate.

One of the more interesting features in Election Center is a new trending topics area that uses a transcription service to highlight when certain keywords are uttered. Stitcher now has the ability to transcribe reports and then show users when certain words are used, so they can jump ahead to those parts in the audio. Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok said this is the first time the technology is being used in a mobile audio app and it’s something that will likely be expanded to the entire Stitcher service eventually.

“We see this as part of our mission to further the evolution of radio and make it more relevant and accessible than ever,” Shanok said.

The election center should keep usage on Stitcher growing. The service has 4.7 million registered users, up from 3 million in September and total listening time had doubled in the last six month.