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How Dateline NBC looks to grow its podcast business with Apple


Dateline, NBC’s true crime newsmagazine present, is providing a paid podcast subscription by way of Apple’s in-app product beginning as we speak. 

The providing will give subscribers an ad-free listening expertise throughout Dateline’s roster of 9 podcasts and showcasts, one-week early entry to new episodes and collection and bonus episodes each month. The subscription prices $2.99 a month or $29.99 a 12 months, with a seven-day free trial choice. Apple takes a 30% fee in a subscription’s first 12 months, earlier than dropping down to fifteen%.

Podcasts are “one other extension for those who don’t wish to or don’t watch the tv program to expertise it. It’s additionally a reward for superfans,” mentioned David Corvo, Dateline NBC’s senior govt producer.

Till now, Dateline’s podcasts made income by way of inserted advert spots. Apple first launched paid podcast subscriptions to its Apple Podcast app final April, offering one other avenue for podcasters to make income from their work and giving listeners an choice to eat content material with out advertisements.

Since June 2021, the variety of Apple Podcast subscribers has gone up by greater than 300%, a spokesperson mentioned. Over 25% of the highest 100 reveals in Apple’s “High Reveals” chart now provide a subscription. Apple declined to share precisely what number of subscriptions or subscribers it has on Apple Podcasts.

The primary perk Dateline podcast subscribers will get is a bonus episode from correspondent Josh Mankiewicz, obtainable as we speak. The episode is an replace on the disappearance of a Louisiana school scholar, a decade after the unique Dateline episode aired. 

Subscribers will get early entry to the primary two episodes of Dateline’s tenth podcast, referred to as “Inside Affairs” and hosted by Mankiewicz, every week earlier than its official debut on Sept. 20. They are going to proceed to get an episode every week early for the remainder of the collection.

“Each single episode of Inside Affairs is about so long as a Dateline hour” with commercials and credit eliminated, Mankiewicz mentioned. “That’s one of many nice issues about podcasts. You can provide [the audience] all the small print.”

Dateline’s podcasts typically go deeper into the true crime tales instructed on TV or present updates on tales coated previously. Dateline moved into the podcast house in 2019.

The podcasts give “us a possibility to inform tales differently. In an expanded means. In a means the place we’re not beholden to a community clock with a sure variety of minutes and a sure variety of business breaks. It provides us just a little bit extra freedom,” mentioned Dateline govt producer Liz Cole.

Dateline’s showcasts are additionally common — the audio model of Dateline’s TV broadcasts have drawn 775 million downloads since its 2019 launch, with over 30 million downloads in July, in response to a Dateline spokesperson citing Simplecast information.

Because of the “ebbs and flows” of content material creation (depending on components comparable to what number of nights every week Dateline is on NBC), the Dateline group has not but wanted to develop its employees to provide the podcasts or the extra episodes, Cole mentioned.

“We’re actually type of used to increasing and contracting and if somebody has just a little downtime on an authentic story they’re producing for tv, now we have them assist out with the podcast,” Cole mentioned.

As of Friday afternoon, Dateline NBC was no. 6 on Podtrac’s rankings of the highest 10 podcasts in July, primarily based on distinctive U.S. month-to-month viewers.

Dateline’s podcast subscription comes simply over every week after Apple launched two new subscription-focused podcast charts, together with “High Subscriber Reveals” and “High Subscriber Channels,” which rank the highest 100 reveals and channels providing a subscription within the U.S., U.Okay., Canada and Australia.

Dateline is likely one of the hottest channels on Apple Podcasts, the Apple spokesperson mentioned. As of Friday afternoon, Dateline was no. 8 on Apple’s podcast chart, and no. 3 within the true crime class. Dateline, which begins its thirty first season subsequent month, is NBC’s longest-running primetime collection.

Whereas making extra income is a profit to a media firm with an Apple Podcast subscription providing, “as a broader viewers improvement technique it has its challenges,” mentioned Melissa Chowning, founder and CEO of viewers improvement and advertising and marketing agency Twenty-First Digital, in an electronic mail. Primarily, that the listener is subscribing by way of Apple, not a writer’s personal platform, that means the information will not be theirs. “I’m not getting an electronic mail tackle, any first-party information or the power to work together with that subscriber on my phrases,” she mentioned.



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