Film and TV streamers tune up audio-only content
The Future. Streaming services such as HBO Max and Netflix are expanding beyond the visual world of film and TV to the audible world of podcasts. While TV-based apps may seem like a strange place to host audio-only programming, podcasting has become an attractive format to talent, advertisers, and listeners alike. The expansion potentially signals that streamers are fast becoming a central hub for entertainment, live event ticketing, and merchandise. Are all these platforms just trying to be a more-focused Amazon Prime?
WarnerMedia just dropped a big Batman release… but it’s not the Robert Pattinson-starring The Batman.
- On September 18th, HBO Max dropped Batman: The Audio Adventures — a 10-episode scripted podcast that will be exclusive to the service.
- Like a high profile Batman film, it stars big names like Jeffrey Wright, Rosario Dawson, and John Leguizamo.
Joshua Walker, chief strategy officer at HBO Max, called the series an “experiment,” and that if “fans tell us this is content they want to see more of then we’ll increase the investment.”
In addition, HBO and Netflix have built buzz around episodes of Chernobyl and Watchmen and prestige projects like The Irishman by releasing companion podcasts that break them down with their respective creators. According to Walker, the popularity of those podcasts is what’s “driving us to increase that investment.”
Warner’s Batman podcast is just one example of Hollywood’s push into podcasting, not just as an IP-generator for film and TV adaptation, but as a worthy format that can exist alongside them.
- Netflix is testing a podcast vertical on its platform.
- AppleTV+ released a celebrity-stacked audio drama, Calls, back in March.
Additionally, Spotify struck a deal with Chernin Entertainment to develop projects that could either be made as podcasts or as traditional film and TV content… showing that the future of entertainment may be just figuring out what format serves a story best.