The Serial Podcast is Making Podcasts Mainstream | Social Buzz Pros
Podcasts have been on the cusp of being trendy for the past decade. With the increase in music and movie downloads, XM radio, and other forms of on the go media, the podcast industry needed someone to push the boundaries and breakthrough. Sarah Koenig was the one who did it successfully with her Serial podcast.
What is Serial?
The Serial podcast took the premise of "unfolding a nonfiction story week by week, over the course of the season." In this first season, Koenig reopened the case on Adnan Syed, who in 1999, was accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The case against Adnan was based on his friend Jay's, testimony claiming that he helped Adnan bury Hae's body. While Adnan has maintained, for 15 years he was unaffiliated with Hae's murder, it is hard to say who's telling the truth. Some people believe him, while many others do not.
Koenig first learned about the case a little over a year ago. Since then, she has been pouring over police tapes, trail testimonies, boxes and boxes of investigator's notes and documents, while also trying to talk to everyone that was involved. What Koenig realized was that the trail was more muddled and complicated that the jury or public got to hear: testimonies shifted; there could have been prejudices, hazy alibis, and more. However, through this 12-part series, Koenig's persistence and elegance in storytelling kept the audience mesmerized.
Serial Podcast's Viral Popularity has Changed the Podcast Industry
This form of viral popularity is different from anything we are used to seeing. Koenig was able to make investigative reporting very intimate. She was in your ear for at least an hour a day, romanticizing a 15-year-old case that can have no concrete conclusion. Koenig was able to do this successfully; she was able to entice listeners to participate actively in this discussion so has reopened. It has become almost an obsession for some, projects in high school classes for others, or just something new and exciting to listen to. Regardless of where you fall on this scale, you have seen the power of a podcast.
Benefits of Marketing on Podcasts
Everyone that has listened to the Serial podcast have remembered the "Mailkimp" MailChimp girl. This ad repeated every episode, and essentially ingrained into the listener's minds. If you did not know what MailChimp was, you now do. Marketing ads on podcasts are unique. Most listeners do not mind the introductory ad that lets them listen to the entire podcast without interruption. While other podcast listeners do not mind the ads mid podcast. Either way, marketing on podcasts is tremendously useful. For those thirty seconds to a minute, the audience is forced to hear your ad before continuing to their regularly scheduled programs.
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