Photo: Ursula Coyote / Netflix
Netflix is branching out beyond scripted video and nonfiction podcasts to create fictional podcasts. The company said today it’s planning to release a show called The Only Podcast Left as a fictional companion to its new apocalyptic zombie show Daybreak. The podcast takes place in Daybreak’s universe and tells the story of a group of teens who make a podcast during the apocalypse. It’ll exclusively be available through Spotify until December 12th, which is when it’ll be released on other platforms.
Netflix already produces companion podcasts for some of its content, including a behind-the-scenes show about Stranger Things, and another called You Can’t Make This Up about how Netflix filmmakers create their true crime dramas. Other video content platforms are also dabbling in podcasts. HBO created a companion show for Chernobyl, for instance, and CBS Studios plans to release a Star Trek companion show.
The big idea with these programs so far has been a bit of fan service and in some cases giving people a place to learn more about the process behind their favorite shows. With this newest show, however, Netflix is expanding a proprietary narrative universe. Podcasts are cheaper, easier, and less time-intensive to produce than video content, so it makes sense studios would try them as a strategy to further bring people into their world. It’s low-risk, high-reward.w