Netflix Is Pivoting to Scripted Podcasts

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As Netflix faces increased competition with the release of two major streaming services this week, it appears Netflix is getting into the scripted podcasts game.

A six-episode scripted series, The Only Podcast Left, will complement the streaming giant’s post-apocalyptic series Daybreak and will splinter from season 1 of the show to build its narrative, Variety first reported Thursday. According to the report, the podcast is slated to premiere November 7 in partnership with Spotify, where it will stream exclusively until December 12.

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Netflix has been pivoting to podcasts, so to speak, for some time now with shows centered around its own content. You Can’t Make This Up, for example, covers Netflix’s true crime and nonfiction content, exploring topics like “how our filmmakers got access, what ended up on the cutting room floor, and even the impact a Netflix show can have on the real lives of its subjects.” What to Watch on Netflix, another of its podcasts with a pretty straightforward theme, invites Netflix employees, stars, and other notable figures to comment on what they’re watching on the platform.

But Variety noted that The Only Podcast Left will be Netflix’s first original scripted podcast. In a statement, Lauren Jarvis, head of content partnerships for Spotify in North America, described the format as a “scripted companion podcast” that would allow fans of the show “to listen to the podcast and dive deeper into the post-apocalyptic world of Daybreak.”

Netflix did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment.

That the company is looking for ways to beef up its investment in originals is not totally surprising, particularly for content that resonates but gets burned through quickly thanks to its format. Back in August, Rae Votta, podcast lead for the Netflix brand and editorial team, said in a statement that the company was “talking a lot with our documentary team about what opportunities are out there, as we are with scripted.”

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As Disney+ and Apple TV+ launch attempt to lure viewers with their own high-quality original programming (and not to mention with mountains of money), Netflix is likely looking for any avenue for prolonging the lifeline of its originals it can find. That’s certainly smart. Whether it’ll work—hell, whether they’ll even be good—is another question entirely.

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