News Corp is extending digital subscriptions to its podcasts, launching an audio-only offer on Apple Podcasts.
The new audio-only product bundles the publishers’ collection of true crime podcasts into a single channel on Apple Podcasts called Crime X. Subscribers to the premium offer, Crime X+ receive access to exclusive, early and ad-free audio journalism, reflecting the company’s strategy to grow audiences with its platform partners.
News Corp Australia’s managing director tech networks and new channel partnerships Nicholas Gray said going “off-platform” would allow the company’s award-winning podcasts to reach audiences through new channels.
“For a small monthly fee or discounted upfront annual fee, subscribers will be granted early, exclusive and ad-free content, some in a second window after it appears exclusively on our own websites and apps,” Mr Gray said.
“Going directly to consumers for our premium audio content allows us to find new audiences willing to pay for premium audio, showcasing our award-winning journalism. And that includes not only Australian audiences but those tuning into our true crime podcasts internationally.”
Additional, non-audio journalism commonly linked to a podcast topic such as video, photographic galleries, longer reads and breaking news stories will remain exclusive to masthead subscribers to provide deep insig ht and analysis into the subject matter.
“We are confident that this structure will feed the often very curious nature of podcast listeners to send them back to our mastheads, websites and apps to search for more information about these utterly compelling stories through the full-suite offered by our journalism that exists beyond audio.”
News Corp Australia’s general manager, commercial networks Ainslee O’Brien said the experience of other subscription services provided a wealth of lessons for the initiative.
“Crime X+ suits a certain audience niche while protecting the integrity of our core news mastheads to serve our other audiences,” she said.
“Creating this premium product allows us to grow our total earnings by tapping into a specific audience need and desire for this content.”
O’Brien also invited budding podcast producers and other independent content creators to pitch their ideas.
“We are open for business and if an idea is strong enough we will be happy to fund its production,” she said.
Crime X+ launches tomorrow and subscribers can listen to True Crime Australia’s Mother’s Guilt and Bikies’ Inc. and get early access to former homicide detective Gary Jubelin’s I Catch Killers and Andrew Rule’s Life and Crimes episodes, ad free as of 22nd November.
This initial rollout will be quickly followed with a special mini- series from legendary Melbourne crime reporter Andrew Rule in December and, in the new year, a special new Gary Jubelin mini series.
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