True crime content is taking over our lives - Netflix shows, movies, news articles, and of course, podcasts. There are thousands of true crime podcasts for you to choose from on your daily commute or while washing dishes, and the number is only going to continue to grow.
The interest around podcasts doesn’t stop at the listeners though - many brands are also dying to get in on the action. 78% of listeners do not mind ads or sponsorship messages, according to Nielson. In a world where we’re being targeted by advertisements from every corner, brands are going to be very happy to know that podcast listeners don’t feel exasperated by podcast ads quite yet. But what makes the True Crime niche hard to resist?
True crime generally dives into a certain true case or event and breaks down what happened, who the suspects were, and any conspiracy theories connected to the event. Serial, for example, followed the murder of high school student Hae Min Lee and the (potentially) wrongful conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, and is considered the first official true crime podcast. Since its release in 2014, it has been downloaded over 400 million times.
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Research has claimed that fear plays a key role in the popularity of true crime podcasts, which in turn causes listeners to binge podcast episodes (which should be music to advertisers' ears). Here is a closer look at why brands should not fear partnering up with true crime podcasts.
True crime podcasts are no strangers to receiving millions of listens and downloads. For example, one of the top true crime podcasts, Crime Junkie, has received over 500 million downloads ever since its release in December 2017. There’s something so thrilling about being privy to police interviews, court hearings, and conspiracy theories (and there’s nothing that the true crime genre loves more than a conspiracy). That’s why if your brand chooses to collaborate with a true crime podcast, it is almost guaranteed that your sponsorship will reach a large number of listeners.
True crime podcasts are built to be suspenseful and mysterious - the hosts want to ensure that their listeners are invested in what happens next. Listeners are focused on catching every detail and every clue, not wanting to miss anything that may hint at ‘who dun it?’. The attentiveness of true crime podcast listeners makes this niche the perfect place for brand ad-reads. Listeners are hanging on to every word the host says, a brand sponsorship won’t go in one ear and out the other - especially if it aligns with the podcast content and is seamlessly integrated.
The true crime niche may have grown in size over the years, but one thing that has stayed the same is that listeners love to share their own theories, ideas, and reactions with each other. For brands, this means those true crime listeners will comment and share the podcasts that they are currently listening to, not only increasing the exposure of the podcast but spreading the brand sponsorship to an even wider audience.
In terms of engagement, many true crime podcasts focus on cases that are currently taking place and listeners are eager to get all the most updated information. Brands that ride this wave will not only be seen as up-to-date on current events but when even more information emerges, listeners may subconsciously be reminded of the ad-read and spark their interest once again.
There’s something very intimate about podcasts - listeners feel a special kind of trust in their favorite hosts, and that also means that they keep coming back whenever a new episode is released. This is especially true for true crime content because no matter how juicy the criminal case is, a powerful podcaster needs to know how to share the information in the most engaging manner. For brands, this means that they have a number of listeners that they confidently know will tune into the ad-read, and these are most probably also the most faithful listeners.
There are a wide range of true crime-style podcasts and each sub-niche has a different set of listeners. As a brand, this is ideal because you can decide whether to target all types of true crime listeners or focus on one specific sub-niche/specific topic. As a brand, there’s nothing more important than sponsoring podcasts that align with your company goals and ideals. By having so many different true crime podcasts to choose from, you are bound to find one (or a handful) that perfectly aligns with your brand and see success in your sponsorships.
BetterHelp is a popular sponsor among numerous platforms, and it’s no different from true crime podcasts. One of BetterHelp’s favorite podcasts to collaborate with is Morbid, which is nearing its 400th episode very soon. BetterHelp and Morbid have collaborated 57 times, and I’m certain that that number will continue to grow.
When you think about it, this collaboration is pretty iconic - an online mental health service working with a podcast all about people who probably would have benefited from a service like BetterHelp. Maybe that’s the reason why this partnership works so well!
And That’s Why We Drink combines murder and the paranormal and shows its listeners just how scary this world can be, which is exactly why they encourage its listeners to pick up a drink. HelloFresh has found a consistent partner in the podcast, having sponsored them over 23 times. If And That’s Why Drink’s latest episode has you a little too freaked out to go to the supermarket, HelloFresh has got you covered.
SimpliSafe has found what may be the perfect niche to collaborate with. SimpliSafe is all about home security, so what better way to promote its brand and products than by collaborating with podcasts that mention break-ins and stalkers, and creepy next-door neighbors on the regular? Casefile True Crime and SimpliSafe have fostered a long-standing partnership, collaborating on 26 episodes until now. Let’s hope that many of their listeners have now improved their home security thanks to SimpliSafe!
Sometimes you need a little fun and games to break the tension of an especially thrilling true crime episode, and that’s where Best Fiends comes in. Best Fiends has always understood the potential that influencer marketing has, and so it comes as no surprise that they are one of the top sponsors in one of the most popular podcast niches. The podcast that Best Fiends has sponsored the most is Southern Fried True Crime, a podcast that explores historical and contemporary true crime in the South. You could say that the South intrigues Best Fiends since they’ve sponsored this podcast 21 times already.
In a study conducted by Amanda Vicary, a social psychologist, it was found that the true crime topic was more popular among women than men. That’s one of the reasons why the podcast Women and Crime is so popular, since it focuses on true crimes associated with women, whether that be female crime, victimology, or celebrating heroines who have left their mark on the criminal justice system. Daily Harvest has also realized the success that can come with partnering up with a podcast like Women and Crime, and these two have already collaborated with one another over 19 times.
With the popularity of the true crime genre only continuing to increase, it only makes sense for brands to get on board by sponsoring true crime podcasts. If you are a brand interested in tapping into true crime podcasts, we can help you cherry-pick the best channels. If you are a true crime podcast interested in scaling your sponsorships, let us help you match with relevant brands.