Earworms: What the industry’s been listening to this week

The rise of film companion podcasts

The beauty of companion podcasts is that they target a specific and niche audience, looking to engage with more content around a piece of film or television that they truly love or enjoy. With films like Netflix’s newly-launched The Official Rustin Podcast, companion podcasts can be a great marketing tool that both promotes the release of the new film and offers behind-the-scenes insight and interviews to keep audiences talking about it. 

Aside from Netflix’s new podcast, this week’s Earworms includes a number of new launches and returning shows across multiple genres like business, true crime, horror, and more, as well as recommendations from experts across the industry on what they listen to for both education and entertainment. 

What’s in the industry’s ears? 

Henrietta Harrison - Senior podcast producer, Bauer Media

I’m currently hooked on The Girlfriends by Novel. It’s a true crime podcast that dives into the life of Bob Bierenbaum, a Jewish plastic surgeon in Las Vegas. He’s glamourous, rich and impressing multiple Jewish women in town, including their mothers. But as time goes on, all is not as it seems as the ex-girlfriends get together and investigate his murky past. It’s funny, intriguing, beautifully told and really captures what women can achieve when they get together and gossip.

Tomini Babs - Host, Sensemaker Podcast 

Given the current state of affairs around the world, the 'Pod Save' podcasts from Crooked Media have been really brilliant. Pod Save the World has particularly stood out recently in helping me to understand some of the global positions relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Stephanie Fuccio - Owner, Coffeelike Media

My recommendation would be Life With Leo(h). The initial premise is about a scientist who falls in love with an AI machine so I never expected to get caught up in their emotional world so much. But I did and I think you will too. This is one of the audio dramas that got me into the genre.

Catrin Skaperdas - Podcast marketing and audience development consultant, CurtCo Media

I've been listening to Coffee Break Italian to help with my goal of learning Italian! I found the podcast after moving from the U.S. to Italy last year without knowing much of the language. Coffee Break Italian is a great way to support the education I'm getting from in-person Italian lessons when I'm on the go.

Sarah Ray - Head of podcast sales, Global 

A recent series I could not stop listening to was Harsh Reality, the shocking story of Miriam Rivera. Brilliantly told, it is a heartbreaking tale and one that is unbelievable to have happened a relatively short time ago. It is a perfect demonstration of how compelling and vivid storytelling can be in podcasts.

Freshly Dropped 

Run, Fool!

Award-winning writer and producer Rodney Barnes has launched his ghost stories podcast Run, Fool!, a production acquired by global content company Ballen Studios and created in partnership with podcast studio At Will Media. The series released its first two episodes on 14 November with Barnes as the host, telling a different horror story every episode about monsters, demons, vampires, and the occult. 

Gay Girl Gone

The latest true crime podcast from CBC is a six-part series on blogger Amina, who gained a massive following for documenting her life online as a lesbian in Syria where homosexuality is illegal and later went missing after a post was shared saying that she was abducted. The weekly series, which launched on Wednesday this week, titled Gay Girl Gone is hosted by journalist Samira Mohyeddin who attempts to discover what happened to the blogger when she disappeared. 

The Diff

Charity industry trade publication Third Sector has launched a new miniseries titled The Diff, covering the vital work that small charities and non-profit organisations do to prevent knife crime. The podcast, which launched all three episodes this week, is hosted by film critic and radio presenter Rhianna Dhillon, who also presents the weekly PodPod podcast.

Walk Tall

British Podcast Awards-winning series Carolina Herrera presents: Walk Tall returned for its second season this week on Thursday, with hosts - broadcaster Miquita Oliver and Vogue Fashion Director Julia Sarr-Jamois. In the new season, Oliver and Sarr-Jamois discuss how they made it to the top of their careers and share valuable advice and insider tips for listeners looking to work in those spaces. 

The Official Rustin 

Netflix launched the first two episodes of its official companion podcast for its original film Rustin today, following the release of the film on the streaming platform. The podcast titled The Official Rustin Podcast, features journalist and author Tre’vell Anderson in conversation with the artists who made the film including civil rights activist Dr. Joyce Ladner and costume designer Toni-Leslie James.