Crime pays, Australia’s News Corp says, affirming the value of exclusive multimedia crime content.
Stephanie Algate, content amplification marketing manager on the publisher’s metro mastheads, says in an INMA Ideas blog that its ‘On Guard’ podcast series delivered unprecedented engagement.
“True crime continues to be a popular genre of content across multiple media platforms,” she says, adding that the past six months have seen a quarter of its metro subscribers coming from true crime content, with audiences continuing to “pay and stay.”
‘On Guard: Stories from Inside Australia’s Toughest Prisons’ – a subscriber-exclusive, eight-part multimedia content series – combined eight podcast episodes, written journalism, imagery, and videos, taking readers inside prison walls to uncover “what really goes on behind bars”.
In a company-wide first, the podcast was locked exclusively for digital subscribers and released to the general public upon completion of the series.
“The main focus of this campaign was to highlight the robust behind-the-scenes-style journalism that our readers couldn’t get anywhere else,” says Algate.
The campaign message was amplified using paid and News Corp Australia-owned assets that would reach a national audience. These included TVCs on state-based free-to-air channels, BVOD and the Foxtel network, targeted paid social media ads, SEM, regional EDMs, targeted digital ads, press ads in metro and regional News publications, in-store retail point-of-sale across the country, and masthead social platforms.
“As a company-wide first trial, the two-pronged audio subscription model of releasing the entire series exclusively for subscribers on-platform before releasing to a mass audience off-platform was deemed a success in acquiring new digital subscriptions,” she says, adding that while other shorter-windowing models had been trialled before, this was the first series to be completely locked.
The risk was “well worth the reward” with News seeing unprecedented results, attributed to a combination of outstanding journalism and trust built with the interview subjects, audio production values, targeted marketing campaign, striking creative – produced by in-house agency Roller – the bold subscriber-exclusive locking strategy, and extensive publicity.
The model also proved successful for engaging existing subscribers as it was the only place consumers could access the next episode, ensuring their return to our platform throughout the duration of the series.
“The success has paved the way for a broader true crime premium content strategy, with more exciting series currently in development,” she says.