×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The ‘Serial’ Team’s New Podcast, ‘S-Town,’ Tops 10 Million Downloads in Four Days

Episodes of “S-Town,” the new Southern Gothic-esque investigative-journalism podcast from the creative team behind 2014 breakout hit “Serial,” have been downloaded more than 10 million in the first four days of its release — setting a new record in the podcasting world.

The original “Serial” first season took seven weeks to reach 10 million downloads, setting a record at the time in reaching that milestone. However, those episodes were released on a weekly basis, whereas all seven episodes of Serial Productions’ “S-Town” were released for binge-listening on March 28.

In “S-Town,” longtime “This American Life” producer Brian Reed begins by delving into a murder mystery in a rural Alabama town. He began reporting on the story three years ago, after he was contacted by John B. McLemore, an antique clock restorer from Woodstock, Ala., asking Reed to investigate the scion of a wealthy family who had allegedly been bragging about getting away with murder. As the podcast unfolds, someone else winds up dead — and new mysteries emerge about a bitter feud and a hunt for hidden treasure. (The name of the podcast derives from McLemore’s description of his hometown as “Shittown.”)

Overall, episodes of the first two seasons of “Serial” have been downloaded more than 250 million times, according to Serial Productions. That includes about 175 million for “Serial” season 1 (which comprised 12 episodes in 2014 and three updates released last year). The New York-based company is partnered with public radio’s “This American Life,” which is produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media. Serial Productions has two other series in development but hasn’t released details about those.

In another data point highlighting the popularity of “S-Town,” the feed for the podcast series already has 1.45 million subscribers since Serial Productions released the trailer a little over two weeks ago. By comparison, the “Serial” feed has 2.4 million, and “This American Life” has 2 million.

“Serial” launched in 2014 as a spinoff of “This American Life,” with Sarah Koenig narrating the team’s investigation into the 2000 conviction of Adnan Syed for the murder of his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in Baltimore. The show led to a judge granting Syed a retrial in the case. Season two of “Serial” told the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who was captured by the Taliban.

The “S-Town” podcast is free to stream from the Serial Productions’ website and can be downloaded from iTunes and for apps from Stitcher and RadioPublic. The seven episodes vary in length from 47 to 63 minutes each. The show is sponsored by Squarespace and Blue Apron.

“S-Town” is executive produced by Reed and Julie Snyder, who co-created “Serial” with Koenig. The editorial team for the podcast includes “This American Life” creator and host Ira Glass, Koenig and Neil Drumming.

More Digital

  • Devin Nunes

    Devin Nunes Files $250 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter

    U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday, alleging that he has been the victim of hundreds of hate-filled tweets. The suit also takes aim at Liz Mair, a Republican communications consultant who has attacked Nunes on Twitter, and the anonymous accounts “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” [...]

  • Reed Hastings Netflix

    Netflix Won't Be Part of Apple's Video Service, CEO Reed Hastings Confirms

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed at a press event in Los Angeles Monday that his company won’t be taking part in Apple’s upcoming video service. “Apple is a great company,” Hastings said. However, Netflix wanted to control its experience within its own app, which is why it wasn’t working with Apple. “We have chosen not [...]

  • mark Beaven

    If Spotify Is Holding Town Halls for Songwriters, They Must Be Open (Guest Column)

    Earlier this month, Amazon, Google, SiriusXM and Spotify challenged the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to increase the compulsory mechanical rates paid to songwriters by 44% over the next five years. The streamers have come under fierce criticism for the move, which they claim is over the complexities of the CRB’s rules but is widely assumed [...]

  • iHeartMedia Promotes Angel Aristone to Executive

    iHeartMedia Promotes Angel Aristone to Executive VP of Communications

    Angel Aristone has been promoted to executive vice president of communications for iHeartMedia, the company announced today. According to the announcement, Aristone will continue to position iHeart as a media and entertainment leader through proactive strategic communication efforts on both a local and national level. She will also continue to oversee media relations and external [...]

  • UFC 235 Mixed Martial Arts, Las

    All UFC Pay-Per-View Events Moving to ESPN+ Exclusively in U.S. Through 2025

    The UFC — in a major jump to digital away from traditional pay TV — inked an expanded pact with ESPN under which all of the mixed martial arts promoter’s pay-per-view events will be available exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S. for the next seven years. Under the agreement, the ESPN+ subscription streaming service will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content