Every TV show Needs a Companion Podcast…. Here’s Why.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Lovecraft Country. The Crown. Insecure. All of these creative and successful shows have been accompanied by custom companion podcasts that have provided enthralling bonus content and strengthened the relationships between their show-runners and passionate fanbases.

Many of the best TV shows airing today are immersive, expertly crafted, and truly entertaining storytelling experiences that leave viewers wanting more content than a single episode can offer each week.

Simply put, a high-quality television series will attract a dedicated audience: a community of supporters who genuinely appreciate the content produced for their enjoyment and are more than eager to engage further with the universe created by the show.

And here’s where companion podcasts become invaluable.

Thanks to podcasting, broadcasting and streaming companies can provide fans with valuable content that bridges the gap between episodes of their favorite show. As companion pieces to the shows themselves, a well-made custom podcast gives listeners a better understanding of how their favorite stories came to be, and captures the unique spirit and energy of the show on which it’s based. A companion podcast provides a whole new layer of enjoyable content and meaningful interactions between creators and fans.

From HBO Max Movie Club - which provides a forum for fans of the service’s priority library films and new Saturday night theatricals - to Little Fires Everywhere: The Official Podcast - which offered a deeper dive into the Hulu adaptation from Celeste Ng’s brilliant novel - Ruby has seen just how rapidly companion podcasts are growing in popularity, proving that the enjoyment of a TV show doesn’t have to end when the episode is over.


A great podcast has an aura of invitation: a welcoming energy that makes the listener feel like an honored guest in the podcaster’s audio abode. When a podcast acts as an extension of an already-existing show, we can take this vibe a step further. Listeners feel as if they’ve been given a backstage pass to hang out with the cast and crew of their favorite series. Listening to a podcast about such a series assures fans that they are appreciated members of the community of that show, and that those involved in making the show welcome their enthusiasm.

Podcasts also give viewers even more incentive to stay tuned each week. With all of the visual media that bombards us every day, even the most well-thought-out TV series can lose taction, or get overlooked altogether due to eyeball fatigue. Providing supplemental audio content that can be absorbed while content-hungry listeners tackle other tasks - from folding laundry to working out - lets them know that the show’s creators value their time, and that staying invested in the series will give them a full, multidimensional entertainment experience.

Furthermore, millions of hardcore TV fans out there greatly appreciate the chance to learn about the making of their favorite show. In NBC’s podcast about the incredibly unique and successful sitcom The Good Place, creator and showrunner Michael Schur talks about how he studied ethics, religion, and philosophy to develop his hilarious and thought-provoking depiction of the afterlife for the series.

A custom podcast also allows listeners to delve deeper into characters’ motivations by hearing from the actors who play these characters. They may reveal their personal attachments to the roles and how they subsequently approach them. Likewise, a custom podcast presents opportunities for showrunners to talk about other shows and stories from which they have received inspiration, giving back to the fans and providing valuable insight they couldn’t receive elsewhere.

The payoff is exponentially multiplied when it comes to franchise shows with massive fan bases like The Mandalorian and Loki. In such series, episodes are filled with complex worldbuilding easter eggs and subtle references to other movies and shows. To fully appreciate and understand the nuances of the imaginative world they are immersed in, listeners need supplementary content – and they seek this stuff out in droves.

To fully appreciate and understand the nuances of the imaginative world they are immersed in, listeners need supplementary content – and they seek this stuff out in droves.

Avatar: Braving The Elements is a perfect example of a show set in an imaginative world that has amassed a massive fan base of children, teenagers and adults alike. Hosts Dante Basco and Janet Varney (who both voiced characters in this iconic franchise) analyze the worldbuilding and storytelling in the Avatar universe, having a great time breaking down the episodes, joking around with each other, and conducting thoughtful interviews with cast and crew members. They do this in a way that is satisfying for longtime fans and digestible to those who discovered the show recently during its record-breaking resurgence on Netflix. A good podcast host can break down certain story elements for viewers who don’t have the vast knowledge of the source material that a regular attendee at Comic-Con might have, but want to become more well-versed.

When thinking about custom podcasts for TV shows, the possibilities are truly endless. What if some of these podcasts were scripted and contained shorter stories that take place in-between episodes of a show? What if a podcast offered fans a live trivia game to potentially win prizes for answering questions about their favorite show? How about inviting composers and music coordinators to host certain episodes of these podcasts to break down the process of enhancing TV shows through audio?

There are so many awesome ways to use the format of podcasting to better engage with new and longtime fans of any series -- whether the first episode just aired yesterday or the show celebrated its finale sixty years ago. The Golden Age of Podcasting is continuously elevating TV and streaming media as you read this. There has never been a better time to seize this moment!

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