Dropping a full show season into Netflix (e.g. House of Cards), or Amazon Prime (e.g. Mozart in the Jungle) is an established programming tactic. It encouraged binge-watching. Podcasting is naturally conducive to the binge — discovering a great show leads to listening backwards through the archive. Some podcast programs are divided into seasons (e.g. Serial, The Message, Startup). But rarely in podcasting do you see a whole season released at once.
It happened yesterday when Parents magazine dropped its new Pregnancy Confidential series in a big 32-episode release. The idea is to encourage pregnant women (and their partners) to start at the episode matching their stage. The series begins with week 9.
The show is hosted by the editor-in-chief of Parents, Dana Points, and is meant to be informative and reassuring. We found the show in the Apple Podcasts app, and it is part of the Slate-owned Panoply network. An easy browser guide to all the episodes is on the Parents site.
“At Parents we have your back and your bump through all 40 weeks,” said Dana Points. “Pregnant women are information gatherers, and with this podcast we offer our own hard-won advice and anecdotes. We’ve really tried to anticipate the questions our listener has about her body and baby.”
The clever whole-season, all-at-once, pick-your-spot idea of this show adds a dimension to on-demand audio. It’s good business, too — there’s no such thing as a back episode or a long tail with this show, because there is a constant supply of new listeners targeted to each episode. It’s like an audio reference book, and could provide a model for other knowledge organizations to produce show sequences about common processes people face like buying a house.