True crime podcasts remain one of the most popular genres in the medium. Now, in a new ripple on what’s become a crowded space, iHeartMedia is partnering with the Los Angeles startup Solve HQ to create a show that leverages social media to bring interactivity to the format. The podcast is called Solved and each episode will focus on a new case that’s based on real crimes. Two of the 10 episodes planned in the debut series were published Monday.
Solve is hosted by Courtney Falsey and Mike McNeal, two Los Angeles-based actors and writers. Currently, Falsey is in post-production on a sci-fi short film titled “A Place Between,” which she both co-wrote and acted in. And McNeal is lead writer at Solve HQ and specializes in digital interactive content.
Solve HQ is an interactive true crime and mystery studio that already has more than 30 million social media interactions with fans. It first debuted on Snapchat in May 2018 as an interactive murder mystery show where the audience assumes the role of the detective. It has since branched out to other mobile-first formats, including its latest move into podcasting, designed to blur the lines between narrative storytelling and gaming.
Led by Tom Wright, the former CEO of Vertical Network, Solve HQ has so far raised more than $20 million in funding from Elisabeth Murdoch, Upfront Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Advancit Capital.