Spotify launches new daily soap opera podcast to challenge The Archers – still BBC’s most popular audio show after 70 years
- Spotify could launch a ficional drama to rival the BBC show as early as next year
- Plans were revealed by content head at podcast production group Gimlet Media
- The company was bought by streaming service Spotify for $230 million last year
- Radio 4 soap-opera The Archers is the longest-running drama in the world
Music streaming service Spotfy is planning a new daily soap opera podcast to rival The Archers.
The Radio 4 drama set in the fictional town of Ambridge is still the BBC’s most popular audio show after 70 years.
Spotify’s daily fiction soap could be launched as early as next year, although details about the project are yet to be confirmed.
But a launch in 2021 could interrupt the 70th anniversary celebrations as the broadcaster is planning a special series of programmes in January to mark the show’s seventh decade.
The Archers, a Radio 4 drama set in the fictional town of Ambridge, is the BBC’s most popular audio show
The radio soap opera marks its 70th anniversary in 2021, which makes it the world’s longest running drama
The move into drama is part of Spotify’s attempts to diversify away from music and pull listeners away from other popular streaming services such as Apple.
It has seen Spotify make a concerted effort to expand into podcasts, an area which has seen them invest millions in recent years.
The new fictional drama series was revealed by a member of podcast production company Gimlet Media, bought by Spotify last year for £171.5million ($230m).
Gimlet’s head of content, Lydia Polgreen, spoke about her plans for a soap in an interview with the Recode tech website, The Times reports.
She said: ‘I’m really interested in a daily fiction podcast. I think there’s a lot of space for a soap opera-style, short-form fictional podcast that is set in an interesting place.
‘I’ve been spending a lot of time on fiction because I feel like it’s a place where there’s a ton of room for innovation.
The Archers was first launched on the BBC in 1950 and the ‘everyday story of country folk’ remains as popular today as it was 70 years ago
The BBC plans to mark this feat next month with a series of special brodcasts from Ambridge to commemorate the anniversary
‘We’ve had quite a bit of success with fiction at Gimlet, and we want to build on that.’
The Archers was first launched on the BBC in 1950 and the ‘everyday story of country folk’ remains as popular today as it was 70 years ago.
The show was the most popular ondemand audio show last year, The Times reports, with 49 million downloads in 2019.
The broadcaster has now aired more than 19,000 episodes, which makes the show the longest running drama in the world.
The BBC plans to mark this feat next month with a series of special brodcasts from Ambridge to commemorate the 70th anniversary.