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Stuff continues true crime spree with podcast for subscribers

Stuff Group is launching its first paid subscriber podcast series, building on its true crime reputation which began with Black Hands.

The Lost Boy is a six-part series about the mysterious disappearance of Invercargill schoolboy Mike Zhao-Beckenridge, who was abducted by his stepfather nine years ago.

Created in partnership with The Press by journalists Mike Wright – host of the acclaimed The Trial podcast series – and Shannon Redstall, it will be free for Press subscribers with a subscription model for all other listeners.

Stuff Group CEO Laura Maxwell says paid audio subscriptions have proven successful with local and international audiences, delivering diversified revenue streams alongside advertising and sponsorships.

“Our audio team goes from strength to strength – our flagship daily news podcast Newsable not only beat out audio products from The Economist and four other global media organisations at last month’s International News Media Association’s awards, it has ticked over more than a million downloads in its first year.

“Last month The Good Sex Project podcast won Gold at the New York Festival Radio Awards and Black Hands continues to receive international acclaim, having now delivered more than 7.7 million downloads since it launched in 2017.”

New Zealanders are avid consumers of podcasts – 46% of Kiwis aged 16+ have listened to a podcast in the past month.

Head of Audio for Stuff Group Laura Heathcote says: “This is our first step into paid audio subscriptions which is a burgeoning and data-rich media platform – globally the podcast market is worth $30 billion and growing exponentially each year.

“We’re thrilled to kick off our subscription offering with The Lost Boy, a gripping story featuring high-quality journalism, vivid characters and a compelling mystery. The podcast will enthral both local and international subscribers.”

From today, the first two episodes of The Lost Boy will be free on podcast platforms including Apple and Spotify and through stuff.co.nz. Episodes three to six can be unlocked through a subscription to The Press or by going to listen.stuff.co.nz/thelostboy.

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