iTunes has been at the forefront of a boom in podcasting
iTunes has been at the forefront of a boom in podcasting

Serial podcast needs cash for second season, despite being one of most popular shows ever

Apple said podcast was fastest-downloaded ever this week, but still needs money to make second season about a different story

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 20 November 2014 14:35

Serial, the podcast that has been hailed as the most successful ever produced and the forefront of a new surge in podcasting, is asking for donations to fund its second season — suggesting that while the podcasting boom is on its way, the money has not yet arrived.

The first season of the real-life murder story was largely funded by This American Life, the long-running radio show and podcast that it launched from earlier this year. But the producers want the second season of the podcast to stand on its own, they said.

The rest of the funding came from email provider Mailchimp — which has a recorded advert at the beginning of every episode — but producers said that adverts such as those cannot cover the full costs of production.

But the donation drive suggests that despite the soaring interest in the podcast — it became one of the most-downloaded podcasts ever this week, and is one of a number of increasingly popular podcasts — podcasts are not at the point of being able to fund themselves through their success alone. A number of other large podcasts such as 99 Percent Invisible have run donation and subscription schemes to allow the podcasts to continue to run independently.

When visiting the podcast’s website, fans are greeted with a splash page and can choose to give a one-off or monthly donation, in whatever size they choose. Unlike other fundraising drives, some of which have been run through Kickstarter, there appears to be no rewards for those that take part in the

The donation scheme will run for a week and fund the second series, the website says. That second season will cover a new story.

“If you like the show, and you want another season — a different story — please donate,” the site says. “And: we’re only asking this once.

“We won’t pester you with splash pages after this week. If you want to help us make a second season of Serial, act now.”

Serial released its 9th episode on Wednesday.

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