The Teacher’s Pet, an investigative true crime podcast from The Australian, has passed 1 million downloads since its launch six weeks ago.
Created by The Australian’s national chief correspondent Hedley Thomas and co-producer Slade Gibson, the podcast investigates the disappearance and likely murder of Sydney mother Lyn Dawson.
Former Newtown Jets rugby league star Chris Dawson, Lyn’s husband, was the last person to see her alive in January 1982.
Rob Loewenthal, chief executive of podcast hosting platform Whooshkaa told The Australian “There wouldn’t be another podcast that has achieved a million downloads in the first five or six weeks of going live.”
“It is certainly the most successful launch of a podcast that we have seen in the three years we have been hosting content. There are other podcasts that do big numbers, but they have been building up over years and not weeks.”
The podcast has attracted global interest, with overseas listeners reported to account for around 25% of the audience. The series has been at the top of the Australian iTunes charts for much of the time since its launch.
“The US continues to grow as a proportion of total downloads to 10 per cent and the UK now makes up 7 per cent total downloads,” he said. “The longer the series goes on, the more the international audience is discovering this content,” said Loewenthal.
Paul Whittaker, The Australian’s editor-in-chief, says that podcasting allows newspapers to tackle large and complex stories with a new platform, and reach new audiences.
“The Teacher’s Pet has required all the journalistic expertise and skill of one of Australia’s most accomplished investigative journalists, in Hedley, to firstly reinvestigate a case that had long ago been abandoned by police and the media. Then, he had to convince people to trust him,” said Whittaker.
The Teacher’s Pet is available through iTunes and Whooshkaa.