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Stitcher, a startup that creates personalized talk radio channels on smartphones, raised $6 million in a round led by Benchmark Capital. Bob Kagle joins the company’s board from the firm. Earlier investors including New Atlantic Ventures, Ed Scott and prolific angel Ron Conway also joined.
Stitcher works by letting users make up news and talk radio show from thousands of different sources like NPR or even certain blogs. It then sends a regularly updated audio feed to your phone for listening on the go or in the car.
“We’re often referred to as the Pandora for talk radio. Forty million people now have internet connections through smartphones and they use them during their commute, at the gym or elsewhere,” said Noah Shanok, the company’s chief executive. “We enable users to listen to whatever they want.”
The investment will go to further developing Stitcher’s service for all mobile platforms and securing deals to come pre-installed on cars. Shanok said Stitcher recently signed a partnership with Ford Motors.
The plan is to earn revenue through targeted radio advertising. “We have this great combination of being able to do audio interstitial ads (ads that come in between content) with display,” Shanok said.