Scott Greenstein, the chief content officer of SiriusXM, signed a partnership deal with Audiochuck last fall, which gives the satellite radio company the exclusive right to manage the podcast network’s advertising sales. In an interview, Mr. Greenstein noted that a lot of media is made by and for people in cities like New York, but “Ashley has clearly found the mainstream just fine from Indianapolis,” he said.
Ms. Flowers has “built one of the most successful podcast businesses of all time, completely independently,” Ben Cave, head of Apple Podcasts, wrote in an email.
Her business is growing. Ms. Flowers and Mr. Mills said they have their sights on TV and film, and Mr. Greenstein said he’d like her to help SiriusXM build a true crime channel. And in August, Bantam will publish Ms. Flowers’s first book, a thriller titled “All Good People Here.”
The Golden Age of True Crime?
From the moment “Tiger King” captivated a nation under lockdown, true crime’s cultural impact has been hard to ignore. A “Saturday Night Live” skit from last spring spoofed women’s obsession with genre. Over the summer, Hulu released “Only Murders in the Building,” starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez as New Yorkers who try to solve the murder of a neighbor. The show played on the culture’s obsession (fueled by social media) with amateur detective work and whodunit podcasts. (A second season is coming.)
When Gabrielle Petito disappeared last year during a cross-country road trip, news coverage of her case further fed the public’s appetite for true crime. TikTok, YouTube and Instagram lit up with amateur sleuths certain they could bring Ms. Petito home or bring her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, to justice. The attention the case received set off a national conversation about “missing white woman syndrome,” which refers to the relative lack of coverage when victims are people of color.
Now, true crime obsessives, and the podcasts they listen to, have turned their attention to Lauren Smith-Fields, a college student from Connecticut who died late last year at 23, and her family’s search for answers.