The second season of Serial still doesn't have a start date, but it does have a new, unlikely distribution partner. Pandora announced today that it will be the exclusive streaming partner for the podcast phenomenon. New episodes will be made available Thursdays at 6AM ET, the same time they become available on the podcast feed. The first season of Serial, meanwhile, will hit Pandora on November 24th.
According to Serial editorial advisor and This American Life host Ira Glass, "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 notes that only 17 percent of Americans listen to podcasts, presumably from this study, which is about 32 million smaller than Pandora's base of 78 million monthly listeners. According to the press release, 8 million people (or about one-tenth the Pandora audience) downloaded each episode of Serial's first season, which made it the most popular podcast during its 12-episode run.
The first season of Serial reached 8 million, while Pandora reaches 78 million
Though Pandora has experimented with non-music content before — the press release notes that comedy was added to the service in 2011 — this is the first time Pandora has distributed a podcast. According to the press release, Pandora will "chapterize" episodes into five-minute chunks for users to navigate (episodes will reportedly play without interruption if you don't fiddle with the buttons).
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