What Is Stitcher and How Does It Work?

What sets this podcast app apart

Founded in 2008, Stitcher is one of the most popular audio platforms in the United States that focuses on the distribution of podcasts and, to a lesser extent, live radio.

Unlike other podcast services which focus on the playing of individual episodes, Stitcher sets itself apart by focusing on the continuous streaming of podcasts and radio stations from playlists that are either curated by Stitcher staff or the user. Listening to episodes one at a time is also possible, however.

Stitcher can be accessed on the official Stitcher website and via its iOS and Android podcast apps for smartphones and tablets. The service is also heavily supported in over 50 car models in addition to the Amazon Echo smart speaker.

How Do Stitcher Accounts Work?

The Stitcher apps and website require you to use an account to subscribe to podcasts and stations and to sync preferences between devices.

While you can listen to podcasts on the Stitcher website without an account, the Stitcher apps need you to log in before giving you access to any media content.

A Stitcher account can be created with any email address after opening a Stitcher podcast app for the first time but you can alternatively sign in with your Facebook or Google account which can be faster and more convenient.

Does Stitcher Have Exclusive Podcasts?

Stitcher produces a variety of podcasts that are exclusive to the platform. These exclusive series are referred to as Stitcher Originals and cover a variety of genres from comedy and self-help to stories and news.

Stitcher Originals podcasts within the Stitcher app on iPhone.

Stitcher Originals can be accessed via the web or by searching for Stitcher Originals within the Stitcher app.

Stitcher Originals are not labeled as such within the Stitcher directory so it can often be hard to distinguish exclusive content from that which can be found on other podcast services. The easiest way is to explore the Stitcher Originals category within the Stitcher Premium tab.

Here are some examples of Stitcher Originals.

  • Just Between Us: A comedy podcast where the host tries their best to answer thought-provoking questions.
  • Sold in America: An eight-part series exploring the sex trade in the United States.
  • Un-Erased: A five-part series on gay conversion therapy.
  • Wolverine: The Lost Trail: An audiobook telling of a story featuring Wolverine from Marvel Comics' X-Men comic book and movie franchises.
  • Katie Couric: A news podcast hosted by Katie Couric and Brian Goldsmith who discuss the latest in news, politics, and pop culture.

Stitcher Originals require a Stitcher Premium membership.

What Is Stitcher Premium?

Stitcher Premium is a monthly subscription plan that removes advertising from podcasts on Stitcher and unlocks Stitcher Original podcasts, special bonus podcast episodes, and over 120 comedy albums featuring stand-up routines from comedians such as Aziz Ansari and Hannibal Buress.

While a Stitcher Premium membership can remove banner ads within the apps and Stitcher's own audio ads that play before and after episodes, it can't remove ads that are recorded as part of podcast episodes by podcast creators.

The price of a Stitcher Premium membership is $4.99 a month or $34.99 a year. This membership works for one account for an unlimited number of devices.

Stitcher Premium was originally called Stitcher Plus. Despite the name change, the plans are identical.

Like many modern subscription plans, Stitcher Premium fees are charged and managed through the Apple App Store if purchased from within the iOS Stitcher app or the Google Play Store if bought from within the Android Stitcher app.

To cancel a Stitcher Premium subscription, you'll need to do so from within your subscriptions settings on the appropriate platform, not from within the Stitcher app. If you paid for Stitcher Premium via the Stitcher website, the service can be cancelled directly on the website after logging in.

What Is Stitcher Live Radio?

In addition to offering the ability to subscribe to podcasts, the Stitcher apps also support digital broadcasts of online radio stations.

The Monocle 24 online radio station playing within the iPhone Stitcher app.

Radio stations can be found via the search tab within the Stitcher apps and can be subscribed to the same way as podcasts. After a radio station is subscribed to, it's added to the Live Radio category in the My Favorites tab.

It can be difficult to find live radio feeds as many podcasts feature the word radio in their title and can often rank higher in search results. To locate a live feed of a radio station, it's best to type the full radio station name when searching.

Where Can I Listen to Stitcher?

Stitcher content can be consumed on its official website and through its iOS and Android podcast apps for smartphones and tablets.

In addition to iOS and Android devices, Stitcher is also supported on Amazon Echo and Sonos smart speakers and in over 50 different car models. Some of the companies that manufacture cars with Stitcher functionality include GM, Ford, BMW, MINI, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Mazda, and Subaru.

How Can I Download Podcast Episodes on Stitcher?

Downloading podcast episodes on Stitcher is something that frequently confuses people as it handles downloads rather differently than most other podcast apps, such as the Apple Podcasts app.

Screenshot of the Stitcher iPhone app showing the downloading of an episode of the Jill on Money podcast.

Instead of downloading all unplayed episodes of a podcast, Stitcher, by default, only downloads the most recent episode and automatically deletes all older episodes for each podcast regardless if they've been listened to or not.

To download a specific podcast episode, you'll need to tap the podcast name from a playlist, tap the name of the episode you wish to download, and then tap Download.

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