TV Upfront

'Serial' Opens the Door for Podcasts to Join the Upfronts

NPR, WNYC and WBEZ Host First Podcast Upfront

By Published on .

Following the runaway success of "Serial," NPR, WNYC and WBEZ plan what they're calling the first podcast-focused upfront pitch to advertisers. The event will come during the last week in April.

There's been a surge in interest among marketers for podcasts following the success of "Serial," which investigates the 1999 murder of a Baltimore high school student.

The podcast, which has been renewed for a second season, has more than 72 million downloads since it began airing last fall.

MailChimp signed on as the first advertiser for "Serial" and saw viral success with its ad, which included a charming mispronunciation of the company's name as "Mail-Kimp." As a result, "Serial" was swarmed with new advertiser inquiries ahead of its final episode in November.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether season two of "Serial" will acheive nearly the same success. Even more questionable is whether other podcasts that will resonate with listeners in the same way.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said NYC was hosting the upfront event. It is co-hosting it with WNYC and WBEZ.

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