True crime podcasts
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
27 February 2018
Why are true crime podcasts so popular?
Right now, true crime podcasts are the best they have ever been, which is why so many people appear to be listening to them. There is no doubting it. Podcasts as a whole are hitting peak stride.
Consider the following titles: Atlanta Monster, Disgraceland, A Very Fatal Murder, My Favorite Murder, Up and Vanished, Serial, S-Town and Criminal. You see why the genre is killing it (pun intended). Each of these is worth every minute of your time. I can attest to this as I have fully given my own to each.
Truth is, I am an avid listener of podcasts in general. But it wasn’t until today that I evaluated the theme of podcasts that grip me most. Quite frankly, if it isn’t a serial documentary hinging on true crime, I tend to overlook the show entirely.
“It’s same reason why horror movies succeed. We like a peek into the darkness. Without the real danger of being involved.”
Just how successful are these podcasts?
Consider this. Up and Vanished, “An investigative podcast that explores the unsolved disappearance of Georgia beauty queen and high school teacher, Tara Grinstead,” collects over 150 million downloads. Seriously, I can’t even fathom that level of success.
True crime podcasts reaching record numbers
Almost as unrivaled is the rapid rate at which S-Town, “the new Southern Gothic-esque investigative-journalism podcast,” was being downloaded. Variety reported that in its first four days of release, the show already garnered 10 million downloads. Perhaps brand development is the wrong business for me. Most network TV shows don’t attract 10 million viewers.
Why are we obsessed with true crime?
It’s simple really. I think we are all looking for an escape into a good story. (The best brands are the ones that tell a story.) It’s even more gripping if that story happens to be true and people act out of the ordinary. It’s same reason why horror movies succeed. We like a peek into the darkness. Without the real danger of being involved.
We are no worse for listening, just fascinated by life’s pitfalls and devastations.
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