A month ago, Pocket Casts was sold by its public radio owners to WordPress owner Automattic and now, Chief Product Officer Russel Ivanovic says their team is again growing after some earlier belt-tightening. “We've begun work on some things we've wanted to do for a while,” he says, writing in an update that Pocket Casts is not only bringing people from Automattic onboard to its team, but also is focused on improvements to its app.
“The very first two projects are already underway,” says Ivanovic in a blog post. “First is improving podcast parsing speeds (how quickly you get new episodes after a podcast author publishes them). The second is localizing our mobile apps into the top 12 languages you, our customers, use.” He says the language expansion is the first of what are likely to be many examples of things Pocket Casts will be able to do because of the scale of Automattic.
“There's an entire team that can help us translate our apps, and another team dedicated to making that process seamless and integrating it into our build & release processes,” says Ivanovic. “We can use this scale for more than just translation, so stay tuned for more on that front.”
Automattic is the company behind WordPress, WooCommerce, Longreads, and Tumblr. When it announced in July that it had bought Pocket Casts it said it would look to being building “deep integrations” between WordPress and Pocket Casts to help make it easier for creators to distribute and listen to their podcasts.
Looking to capitalize on the flurry of deal making in the podcast industry, the four public media companies that own Pocket Casts put their listening app up for sale in January. Pocket Casts has been owned by NPR, New York Public Radio and Chicago Public Media since May 2018. The group then took on BBC Studios as an ownership partner last March.
Under new owners Automattic, Ivanovic and fellow Pocket Cast co-founder Philip Simpson continue to lead the company.
Joining a company with well over a thousand employees, spread around the world was quite intimidating at first. That feeling quickly faded away as we met more and more of the amazing people that work at Automattic,” says Ivanovic in his blog post. “They were all so friendly, so welcoming and so excited about working alongside us and building great things together. It's unlike any other company I've ever worked at,” he adds.
Pocket Casts has also announced that Emmeline Berry will be re-joining their team as Content Curator and Podcaster Liaison starting next week. She previously worked at Pocket Casts from June 2019 to Jan. 2021. Once she's settled back in, we'll be reaching out to you to feature more of your amazing work and find ways we can help grow and build your audiences and take your content further,” says Ivanovic.