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Serial, a spinoff of the popular This American Life podcast, debuted in October 2014 to little fanfare but would go on to become the digital medium's first monster hit. Listeners became enthralled by host Sarah Koenig's deep dive into the 1999 true-crime case of Adnan Syed. During its debut run, Serial garnered more than 100 million downloads on iTunes, averaging around 8.3 million per episode.
"If there is a renaissance in podcasting, then it's because of This American Life, Serial, [This American Life host] Ira Glass and [Serial producer] Sarah Koenig," said Mark McCrery, CEO and founder of Podtrac, which handles advertising for Serial and This American Life, as well as WNYC's Freakonomics and Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley.
Serial's Season 2, which reportedly will focus on ex-POW Sgt.