TV shows and companion podcasts become a package deal
The Future. Companion podcasts to TV shows are becoming a widespread trend, offering more time with beloved characters and giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at how the shows are made. By tapping into their fan bases after the credits roll (or even when the show is finished), many of these podcasts may be directly responsible for curbing subscriber-churn or convincing old fans to sign up for a service again.
You know your TV show is in the zeitgeist if you also have a behind-the-scenes podcast to go with it.
- According to The Verge, in just the past month, Hacks, The Staircase, and RuPaul’s Drag Race introduced a companion podcast, with many TV-adjacent podcasts hitting the top 100 charts on both Spotify and Apple.
- While most feature interviews with the cast and crew, others take a more novel approach, such as the Succession podcast interviewing moguls like Mark Cuban and the For All Mankind podcast interviewing astronauts.
- Some of the podcasts are even more popular than the shows, such as Apple’s The Problem With Jon Stewart. While the show has failed to get much love, the podcast debuted at the top of the Apple charts.
DVD extras 2.0
Behind-the-scenes interviews used to be a dime a dozen in the DVD age, but when VOD and streaming crashed that market, that content disappeared. By going the podcast route (an already-popular medium), not only are the bonus features back, but according to HBO’s director of podcasts, Michael Gluckstadt, they’re much cheaper and easier to produce.
In fact, they’re so cheap that they don’t even have to directly make money. HBO’s retrospective The Wire at 20 podcast is number 87 on Apple Podcasts and features zero ads. Why not capitalize on that popularity? Because per an HBO Max survey, 85% felt “more connected” to the show after listening… a phenomenon that At Will Media founder Will Malnati calls “fanbase ROI.”