Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat continue to prove it’s not just the big production houses that have success in podcasting. Their true-crime podcast Crime Junkie has amassed more than 18 million downloads during the past two months. Looking to leverage that success, they’ve now struck a deal with AdLarge Media’s podcast division Cabana giving it exclusive rights to sell the show to advertisers.
Rolling Stone Magazine picked Crime Junkie as one of the best true crime podcasts of 2018 and that brought the show a lot of notoriety, and more press—most recently in In Touch Weekly and in Good Housekeeping. But Cathy Csukas, co-CEO of Cabana and AdLarge Media, says the growth of Crime Junkie is even more extraordinary when you consider that it has been completely organic. “Driven by the strength and passion of Ashley’s storytelling, fans and advertisers have discovered Crime Junkie and spread the word about this addictive podcast. It’s one of the best true crime podcasts out there,” Csukas says.
This June, Crime Junkie will take their show on the road during a four-city tour in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. “When I started the podcast as a way to bring attention to the non-profit Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana, I never dreamed that it would become so big,” Flowers says. “We really have the most loyal fans who are constantly sharing our show with their friends and family and on social media. The show’s success is due to our listeners, and we will always be grateful to them.” She also credits Cabana for agreeing to sell ad time on an unknown, self-produced show.
Crime Junkie explores true crime stories culled from around the country, including new evidence on unsolved mysteries, unexpected twists on current investigations, and analysis of manhunts and captures. Unlike other true crime podcasts that employ twists and turns to engage listeners, Flowers and Prawat’s storytelling style is straight-forward which helps make the cases they explore easier for listeners to follow with a new story each Monday.
“Ashley clearly has tapped the true crime audience in a unique way,” says Ilwira Marciszek, VP of digital sales strategy & partnerships at Cabana. “Each episode is tightly focused yet delivered as if Ashley and Brit are sitting around with their best friends talking about true crime. It’s not just the listeners—advertisers are flocking to Crime Junkie, which delivers a loyal, engaged audience at scale.”
In a Q&A with Podcast News Daily in February, Flowers said about a quarter of Crime Junkie listeners engage with them on social media. “I think social media is incredibly important because not only does it give fans a way to feel engaged and invested in the show but it also allows us a way to connect with and better understand our audience,” she said. Flowers said the success of the show has also allowed her to quit her old job and concentrate full-time on the podcast. There are also plans to expand the brand.
“We are working on a second podcast this year and we have just begun discussions to move ‘Crime Junkie’ into other mediums,” Flowers said. “Year one was all about growing the show as a podcast and now in year two we want to explore how our show can translate into other types of media.”
ICYMI: Read the full Q&A HERE.