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Why Streaming Services are Turning to Podcasts for Series Inspiration


We are living in the golden age of TV. With numerous ground-breaking TV shows available, over 80% of Australians pay for at least 1 streaming service, watching an average of 7 hours of paid TV/ movie streaming services per week. The choice and breath of content shows no signs of slowing down. But where are the creators getting their new and compelling inspiration from in a saturated market? Whilst history, true events, books and movies have provided plentiful source material in the past, podcasts are proving to emerge as popular inspiration. Why is this? Does a podcast and TV show hit differently or can they work together to go deeper on a story?

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A streaming nation


No longer a nice-to-have, TV streaming subscription services are in 80% of Australian homes, with Aussies paying for at least one digital entertainment subscription with an average monthly household spend of A$55. (Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2021) The industry shows no signs of slowing in popularity, with over 20 services available streaming over 30,000 titles. You could literally stream entertainment 24/7 for more than a year and still have more content to view!

As competition heats up between the services, the hunt for the next new hot show has never been fiercer. Leora Nevezie, National Media Sector Leader and Partner at Deloitte Australia, said “Managing and consuming multiple services is becoming complex and expensive. The race is on to lead the way on audience experience” (Senal News).


Source material matters


Let’s have a look at the most streamed shows across all services across Australia at the moment (June 2022).


  1. Stranger Things (Netflix)

  2. The Boys (Prime Video)

  3. Ms. Marvel (Disney+)

  4. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)

  5. Peaky Blinders (Netflix)

(PC World)


It’s obvious here that literature is a dominant source of inspiration in TV production. Stranger Things is based on books, plus The Boys and Miss Marvel are based on comics. Major movies are also a bank for off-shoots - as we see with Obi-Wan as part of the Star Wars universe. Peaky Blinders is based on history with true events and true characters.

Basing your TV show on an already successful book series or movie is often a safe way to indicate success as the story is already popular and has an established audience. Books and movies have been established as successful source material for TV shows for decades, providing storylines and characters that we all know and love, such as the massively successful Game of Thrones (based on books) and Buffy The Vampire Slayer (based on a less successful movie). However, naturally, the industry will look to new and innovative shows based on something different for the new and exciting factor.

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Podcasts and series - a match made in heaven?


Over recent years, there have been several successful TV shows based on podcasts. Dirty John starring Eric Bana pulled in an audience of over 3.8 million viewers. True-crime podcast The Shrink Next Door also inspired the Apple TV+ show of the same name, starring Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell. Why are podcast-inspired series proving big hits? It's all about the power of a good story.

93% of podcast listeners stay tuned for “all, or the majority” of each episode, displaying the medium’s ability to hold attention. (Infinite Dial 21) Podcasts are the most immersive media, as they are screenless and audio forms a unique connection with listeners. Research shows that brand stories told just audibly inspire an average 50% more positive emotional peaks than brand stories told just visually. This means podcast memories are likely to sustain over time, given their strong emotional component.


These qualities, plus the episodic nature of podcasts mean that podcasts are perfect for TV adaptation. They both inspire binge consumption and intimacy with the story and characters. Big Light Productions creative director Emily Feller said that podcasts “laid the seeds for a lot of the elements that we want to allow to grow into television.”

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How can brands get in on the binging?


At the moment, you cannot advertise on streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+. You can, however, advertise on podcasts. Within the ever-expanding content economy, podcasts have a reputation for producing high quality content that can teach you something new, expand your horizons, inspire and entertain. 91% of Australians are aware of podcasts. (Infinite Dial 2022). This provides a fertile environment for brands to speak to consumers. A recent study found that 65% of podcast listeners paid attention to adverts - more than adverts on TV at 39% and adverts on the radio at 38%. (The Guardian)


This is why some TV shows advertise on podcasts. New and evolving ad technology allows advertisers to deliver relevant, targeted, time-based ad messaging in podcasts so they can provide hyper-relevant, contextual integration.


2 way street


Whilst podcasts provide excellent source-material for TV shows, they can also act as an extension of an existing show, allowing fans to delve deeper into their fandom. Sentimental in the City provides a hilarious nostalgic romp through Sex and the City. Welcome To The OC, Bitches! is hosted by actual OC stars Rachel Bilson (Summer) and Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper), revisiting all episodes of the series and providing behind-the-scenes insight on what happened with fellow former cast members, writers and musicians.


It’s like chatting about the latest brilliant episode of Drag Race with the host, a cast-member or producer. A well-produced TV podcast can delve deeply into a show’s core meaning and uncover hidden details and nuances that cause you to reevaluate everything you thought you knew about the series.


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With the recent popularity of podcast-inspired TV shows such as Stan’s Gaslit (based on the podcast Slow Burn by Leon Neyfakh), we predict that more and more adaptations from audio to TV will be popping up in our recommended feed very soon. Podcasts are not only the potential starting point for a lucrative TV show, but also an avenue for highly effective advertising and deeper immersion. If you’d like to chat further on creating an original podcast or advertising on podcasts, contact us here.