In our “Revelations” column, Meera Kumar pokes and prods the audio industry and its creations to reveal the shows worth listening to and their place in the zeitgeist. In “Mini Revelations”, she considers the responses to her column and whether her opinion was the right one…
Kim Kardashian apparently did not see my proposed moratorium on true crime shows and has since launched her own Spotify-exclusive series.
Whilst this 8-part series echoes the honourable mission of Serial (Kim’s favourite podcast), it feels less novel; which is perhaps compounded by the fact that it’s fronted by one of the figures most ubiquitous in contemporary pop culture. This reinforces the thesis of my last column – we’re too busy trying to emulate the last big blockbuster that we’re not innovating.
So, the ban stands.
Readers of my last column contacted me with their counterpoints to my proposed ban, and they sent me their recommendations in an attempt to sway me:
Unless you do something quite different within the true crime genre. Have a listen @meeerakumar to our newly released Bible John: Creation of a Serial Killer and see if you change your mind. https://t.co/iepg45NEid https://t.co/BEFDWSBWan
— Audrey Gillan (@audreygillan) October 5, 2022
Interesante propuesta de @meeerakumar: "dejar de hacer true crimes por un año". Si bien se entienden, leyendo, los porqués de la propuesta, quizás estaría bueno pensar otras narrativas sobre otros casos policiales, no necesariamente sobre asesinatos, serial killers, etc. https://t.co/nBVvsQadYn
— Pablo (@EscuchaPodcast) October 6, 2022
I’ve yet to hear a series that sheds the predictable format of the true crime genre and surprises me with its ingenuity, but I’m still making my way through these recommendations and will tweet any changes of heart.
I think I’m craving something more meta, a show that breaks the fourth wall and acknowledges the absurdities of the genre whilst simultaneously steering me through a remarkable story in a clever format. Perhaps one solution is in Adaptive Podcasting. Imagine a show with episodes that adapt depending on your location, the time of day, or even your predictions about what happens next in the story. That may not be possible just yet, [ed. Neutrinowatch came fairly close for fiction!] but there are advances being made in this area that would take the listening experience to the next level.
Speaking of, Kim Kardashian’s new podcast sparked my interest due to its extra sources, which (whilst basic in this instance) represent an interesting concept. Producing valuable supplementary resources is time intensive but it could be the layer that sets a show apart and builds an active and engaged audience. Especially when used in conjunction with existing interactive features, like polls, which I expect to see more podcasts utilising considering the growing popularity of smart speakers and voice assistants. More on that in an upcoming column.
Finally, I’m curious about what Kim’s podcast deal looks like and if any of the advertising profits are being put aside for Kevin’s release/rehabilitation or to cover his legal fees… but maybe Kim’s planning to pay off her $1.26m SEC charges first.
Meera is an award-winning Producer and Content Development Exec. She was selected as one of the Rising Stars of 2022 in the British Podcast Awards, was named Best Entertainment Producer in the 2022 Audio Production Awards, and has won two Lovie Awards. Meera has produced stories for the BBC, Sony Music, Universal, UK Parliament, Waitrose, and other well-known brands. Meera is Ambie nominated, and has had her work featured in The Guardian and The Times and selected as one of Spotify’s Best Episodes Of 2021.