Even if you don’t listen to podcasts, chances are you’ve heard of Serial, the popular investigative journalism podcast, narrating a nonfiction story over multiple episodes. And even if you’re not into hiring, chances are you’ve heard of job site ZipRecruiter. You can’t watch television or listen to radio and not know ZipRecruiter.
Get ready to hear even more about both in the coming months. Announced this month, ZipRecruiter is the presenting sponsor of Season 3 of Serial. Visit the program’s site and you’ll see a “Presented by ZipRecruiter” in the header.
“We’re excited to share the stories of innovative businesses from across the country who had unique and unusual job openings, and how ZipRecruiter was able to quickly match them with candidates with the perfect mix of skills and experience to fill those jobs,” said Eyal Gutentag, CMO at ZipRecruiter.
If the popular podcast pulls the kinds of numbers they’ve pulled in the past, it’s easy to share Gutentag’s excitement. As of 10 June 2017, the podcast’s episodes were downloaded a total of 175 million times, establishing an ongoing world record.
As part of the sponsorship, ZipRecruiter will be launching a series called “Road to Hired.” The series travels across America to meet businesses of all kinds, which share stories of how they find and hire people. “For each of these stories, there will be a podcast version, produced in association with Serial, and a mini-documentary video version produced in-house,” said Garner.
The first business featured is Altura Coffee, who used ZipRecruiter to hire its director of coffee. Here’s a video ZipRecruiter recently produced in support of the sponsorship.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, NeimanLab, an organization focusing on journalism in the Internet age, asked “Did Serial’s Season 3 score the single biggest podcast sponsorship deal ever?” in a recent post.
“I don’t believe there has even been a larger podcast sponsorship in audience reach, exclusivity term, or financial commitment,” David Raphael, the president of Public Media Marketing, told NeimanLab.
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“Yes, there have been branded content programs contracted by brand sponsors, some of them quite good. That said, I’m confident that to date none have ever reached the size and scale of the Serial audience nor matched the content produced by Sarah Koenig and her team at Serial.”
It may not all be about price tag, however.
“It isn’t just about financial size,” added Raphael. “It’s the ability to put together a mass reach package for a sponsor that wants ownership at a high level.” Reach isn’t cheap though, especially when we’re talking about the world’s most popular podcast. “[Ads] will run on every podcast episode of Serial this season,” said Garner.