Are you one of the millions of listeners worldwide who became addicted to the Serial podcast this fall?
The free program, a spinoff of This American Life, has an average weekly episode download of 1.26 million. While still not even through its first season, Serial has broken records for iTunes podcast downloads (over 5 million). But what makes the show so popular?
Created and hosted by award-winning journalist Sarah Koenig, the debut season of Serial re-explores the nitty gritty details of a Baltimore murder case that took place 15 years ago. What? That doesn’t sound totally fascinating to you?
The enduring mystery of the show – aside from the murder trial of Adnan Syed himself, who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend Hae Min Lee – is how the weekly podcast has attracted such a strong following, turning us all into amateur sleuths. The most suspenseful part? Koenig herself isn’t sure how she feels about Syed’s guilt or innocence, forcing us to join her on the seesaw of justice from week to week. Stephen Colbert calls her out for this ambivalence while poking fun at her as well.
The best part? Colbert makes fun of the very irritating (but clearly effective) MailChimp ad at the beginning of each week’s episode. Watch what Koenig has to say about her podcast before the final episode airs next Thursday, Dec. 18 – the same day as Colbert’s final show.
Addicted to the ‘Serial’ podcast? Listen to what host Sarah Koenig has to tell Colbert! Click here…