Serial inks deal with Pandora, becomes service's first podcast

serial pandora streaming podcast desk logo
An average of 8 million people downloaded each of the 12 episodes that comprised the first season of Serial, a non-fiction whodunnit podcast which started as a spin-off of the popular radio program This American Life.

Today, The Verge is reporting that the program has parlayed all of that success into an exclusive streaming deal with Pandora. While the series’ second season has yet to set a start date, Season One will hit Pandora on Nov. 24, 2015. When Season Two does begin, new episodes will be available every Thursday at 6 A.M.

While 8 million per episode is a colossal number of downloads for a podcast, Pandora claims 78 million monthly listeners, and will undoubtedly give the show access to a much broader audience. Serial Editorial Advisor and This American Life Host Ira Glass described the deal thusly “for people already listening to Serial and This American Life, nothing will change. But we believe lots of people who’d like our shows simply haven’t heard them, or haven’t started listening to podcasts.” Glass also cited the fact that only 17 percent of Americans listen to podcasts monthly, meaning that the show was drawing from a well of around 46 million potential listeners, far fewer than Pandora’s user base alone.

When Serial becomes available on the service, it will mark the first time that Pandora has ever distributed a podcast, so it will be interesting to see whether there are any hiccups in its delivery. The streaming music giant reportedly plans to break up each podcast into smaller, 5-minute chunks but episodes will be formatted so that they play without interruption, unless the user indicates otherwise.

Chronicling the true story of a Baltimore murder, Serial has grown into a genuine phenomenon. So if you’re like some of our staff and have grown tired of your friends’ and family’s strong-armed, how-is-it-possible-that-you-don’t-listen-to-this-show appeals, it just got a whole lot easier for you to give in and get hooked.

Product Review

LG’s XBOOM WK9 smart display has solid sound ... for a price

Introduced way back at CES in January 2018, LG’s WK9 smart display is finally on store shelves. But how does it compare to other smart displays on the market? We took a look and a listen to find out.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

How to stream music from Google Home to Bluetooth speakers or headphones

Want to stream music on Google Home, but listen to it through a different speaker or a pair of headphones? Here's how to play streaming music on Google Home through Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.
Deals

You can now watch soccer games online with streaming service ESPN+

Launched back in April, ESPN+ is a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. For a mere $5 a month or $50 per year, you can have access to the best sports content available including multiple soccer leagues.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Business

‘Fantastic Beasts’ wins the weekend with underwhelming debut

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald won the weekend box office, but its big debut was a bit underwhelming, with the lowest opening weekend and worst reviews of any Harry Potter film so far.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: The Coen brothers ride again and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Nnarcos: Mexico, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in December 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for December 2018 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.