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Why horror film maestro Jordan Peele is entering the scripted podcast realm

Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

"There is a big audience of horror fans, Monkeypaw fans out there that are probably unfamiliar with the medium, and one thing we really wanted to do was reach out with a show that was approachable enough that it could make people fall in love with scripted podcasts, even if this was their first taste of it," said Monkeypaw's Geoff Foster, a producer on "Quiet Part Loud."

Many industry observers believe scripted fictional audio podcasts have yet to have their breakthrough moment like true-crime podcast "Serial" did.

Some bright spots include thriller "Homecoming," a podcast that later became a Prime Video show starring Julia Roberts.

Earlier this year, Spotify's scripted series "Batman Unburied," a podcast starring "Black Panther" actor Winston Duke, unseated "The Joe Rogan Experience" as No. 1 on Spotify's top podcast chart for more than two weeks.

Spotify has additional scripted projects in the works, including with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot, as well as a second season of "Batman Unburied."

Next year, Spotify will also release the scripted podcast "Harley Quinn and the Joker: Sound Mind," starring Christina Ricci, as part of its partnership with DC and Warner Bros. It also has signed a multiyear podcast deal with "Avengers: Endgame" directors Anthony and Joe Russo.

 

The push into scripted podcasts comes three years after Spotify began heavily investing in digital radio, buying several podcast-related companies. The idea was to encourage its 456 million monthly active users to spend more time on the platform and to reduce the company's dependence on music as the main draw for listeners.

The strategy has relied heavily on creating original and exclusive podcasts from its in-house studios and through partnerships with celebrities.

Since the summer, Spotify has launched "Archetypes," hosted by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and "Kim Kardashian's the System: The Case of Kevin Keith," which discusses the shortfalls of the U.S. justice system. Both podcasts performed well in the U.S. after they launched, with "Archetypes" remaining the No. 1 society and culture podcast on Spotify in the U.S. for at least five weeks.

On Nov. 17, Spotify announced a multiyear exclusive licensing agreement with podcasting internet personality Emma Chamberlain, who has 11.9 million subscribers on her YouTube channel.

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