‘Serial’ wasn’t the first true-crime podcast, but it kicked off the modern craze for this particular category of spoken-word shows. Now anyone with ambitions to be big in podcasts needs to find a steady supply of murderers, gangsters and wrongfully-imprisoned innocents to investigate.
Spotify has a new true-crime podcast called ‘The Clearing’ for example, produced by Pineapple Street Media in association with Gimlet – the latter being the podcasts studio Spotify acquired earlier this year. It tells the tale of April Balascio, who discovered that her father was a murderer. It sounds like good podcasts fodder, but here’s the interesting thing: despite Spotify owning Gimlet, it seems ‘The Clearing’ won’t be exclusive to the streaming service.
“The first two episodes of The Clearing will premiere for free on July 18 on Spotify and wherever podcasts are available. New episodes will drop each week thereafter,” explained Spotify’s blog post. That may be a surprise, since the assumption when Spotify bought Gimlet was that new shows *would* be exclusive to Spotify, even if existing shows remained available elsewhere. Yet there’s value to non-exclusivity too: original podcasts carrying Spotify’s branding that are made widely available can function essentially as advertising for the streaming service and its new emphasis on podcasts.
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