True crime is one of the most popular podcast genres in the United States. Listeners love to tune into the mystery and unravel the cases that grip audiences. And, the best part is that there is a true crime podcast for just about anyone - whether you like gory, dark stories, or prefer a cozy mystery.
True crime podcasts are not only popular for podcast listeners but also for brands looking to sponsor in this medium. Think about it - those listening to true crime podcasts are fully engaged in the content in order to catch all the minor details that may lead to ‘who done it’. This makes it the ideal place for sponsorships as brands can be pretty confident that their service/product promotion will be heard.
This article will cover some of the best true crime podcasts and the brands that sponsor them to give you a glimpse into the podcast industry and the brands that have succeeded in integrating with true crime podcasters.
Serial is an investigative journalism podcast that is largely believed to have set off the true-crime podcast craze, with over 340 downloads of seasons 1 and 2 as of September 2018. The first season focuses on the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, who was an 18-year old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, Maryland. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years for the crime, though he claims his innocence.
This podcast comes from the makers of This American Life and does a great job of reminding us that murder cases aren't as simple as we think they are. With the retelling of this case, listeners will learn the ins and outs of the case where nothing is quite clear-cut. This remarkable piece of long journalism is fantastic storytelling. There's a reason this podcast is so popular, and you'll want to check it out for yourself.
Brands caught on to Serial's popularity early and urged the podcast to tap into brand sponsorships. Mailchimp was the show's first sponsor. After that, the Atlantic interviewed the Marketing Director and mentioned that they don't usually advertise on podcasts. Still, they decided to advertise on Serial since they loved the podcast so much. Other sponsors include Squarespace, Audible, and ZipRecruiter.
If you want to feel like you're sitting down with two best friends chatting about true crime, My Favorite Murder is your podcast. Hosts Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff added the perfect amount of feminine spin on their favorite murder and crime stories which were submitted by fans.
Unlike many other podcasts, these two don't try too hard to be perfect. They let you into their lives, and the podcast itself isn't overly edited. It feels casual and serious simultaneously, while the host's work as comedians in the best way. The show's first episode in 2016 dove right into the actual crime world and covered the JonBenet Ramsey case and the Sacramento East Area Rapist case. One of the fan-favorite episodes includes Episode 75: Breakfast Wine. This episode covers 1979 Mainline Murders, and the hosts go off on some funny tangents.
My Favorite Murder is extremely popular among true crime lovers, both listeners and brands. As a result, it's pretty common to hear about different brands during ad breaks. Some brands that sponsor this podcast include PrettyLitter, HelloFresh, TalkSpace, Etsy, and Aura Frames. It’s interesting to see the wide range of brands (that have little to do with true crime) choosing to integrate with this true crime podcast!
Crime Junkie is another fan-favorite podcast and is consistently ranked in the top five on true-crime podcast charts. This podcast has over 500 stories and covers everything from missing person cases to murders, conspiracies, infamous killers, and more. One of the best parts of the podcast is the extensive background research that Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat put into the stories they tell. With over 500 million downloads, this podcast is extremely popular with listeners.
Their first podcast episode covered the case of Niqui McCown, the story of an Indiana woman who disappeared from a laundromat just weeks before her wedding. Other episodes that are well known include the MURDERED: Laci Peterson episode, which offers a fresh perspective on the case for their fans. Another favorite includes WANTED: Killer on the High Bridge, which tells the story of the tragic murder of two teenage girls near Ashley and Brit's hometown.
Crime Junkie has been sponsored by a wide variety of brands, everything from internet security to meal-planning services. Crime Junkie's sponsors include Hellofresh, Squarespace, Madison Reed, Modern Fertility, BetterHelp, and SimpliSafe.
Before Last Podcast On The Left joined Spotify exclusively in 2019, it had 2.5 million downloads per week. This top-rated podcast is led by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski. It discusses both imagined and real horrors, covering everything from slashers to demons, cults, and serial killers. With the perfect mix of paranormal and dark comedy, the hosts lead listeners through the story narrative throughout their 700 episodes.
The Last Podcast on The Left's most popular episodes cover well-known cases such as Episode: 122 Dahmer Part 1: Infinity Land. This episode dives deep into the story behind Jeffrey Dahmer. It is considered one of the best episodes of the podcast series. Another favorite includes Episode 129: O.J. Simpson, which offers a funny perspective on this infamous murder case.
And That's Why We Drink feels like a spooky sleepover with girlfriends, giggling and chatting about the latest gossip and, in this case, true crime and paranormal stories. This weekly comedy and true-crime podcast is hosted by Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz, with the first episode premiering in 2017. The podcast has over 80 million lifetime downloads and is routinely featured in the top 20 comedy podcast charts. Listeners love the mix of chilling ghost tales and true crime stories discussed weekly.
The show's debut episode covers one of the most haunted places in the United States, called the Winchester Mystery House and the Jonestown Massacre. There are several fan-favorite episodes, including Episode 11, which dives deep into the case of Elisa Lam and talks about a haunted wine cabinet. Another fan favorite is Episode 6, which covers the notorious story of Robert the Doll and Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping.
This podcast is just as popular with sponsors as it is with fans, and features several different advertisements through its episodes. In addition, fans of the podcasts talk about the recommended products in episodes in online forums, which is exciting for advertisers. Some brands that have made an appearance are BetterHelp, Native, Helix Sleep, Coravin, Zola, and Daily Harvest.
In her podcast, Laci Mosley talks about scammers, conmen and women, robberies, and fraud while telling a well-rounded story. This show is newer to the true crime podcast space as it debuted in September 2019. Still, it has covered stories like the Ukrainian adoption grifter and Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes. It even covered the Anna Delvey case in-depth (before it became a Netflix hit).
True crime podcasts reach diverse audiences and are the perfect medium for creators to promote products/services. Because this podcast genre is listened to by various types of people (music lovers, beauty gurus, mothers, entrepreneurs), pretty much any brand can find a way to integrate with a true crime podcast and reach their intended audience. With the help of our podcast advertising planner, you can strategically choose which podcasts you’d like to sponsor, ensuring your reach your intended goals while sticking to your budget. Our data will provide you with the insights you need to plan your next true crime podcast campaign.