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Stuff Group Launches Paid Audio Subscriptions With Blockbuster New True Crime Series

Hot on the heels of winning a global Best New Audio Product award in London last month, Stuff Group is launching its first paid subscriber podcast series, building on its international true crime reputation which began with the phenomenal success of Black Hands.

The Lost Boy is a six part series about the mysterious disappearance of Invercargill schoolboy Mike Zhao-Beckenridge, who was abducted by his stepfather nine years ago. It’s the story of a calculating man with a dark past, the 11-year-old boy he controlled and the distraught mother left behind.

Created in partnership with The Press by journalists Mike Wright - host of the acclaimed The Trial podcast series - and Shannon Redstall, it will be free for subscribers of The Press with a subscription model for all other listeners.

Stuff Group CEO Laura Maxwell says paid audio subscriptions have proven successful with local and international audiences, delivering diversified revenue streams alongside advertising and sponsorships.

“Our audio team goes from strength to strength - our flagship daily news podcast Newsable not only beat out audio products from The Economist and four other global media organisations at last month’s International News Media Association’s awards, it has ticked over more than a million downloads in its first year. Last month The Good Sex Project podcast won Gold at the New York Festival Radio Awards and Black Hands continues to receive international acclaim, having now delivered more than 7.7 million downloads since it launched in 2017.”

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New Zealanders are avid consumers of podcasts - 46% of Kiwis aged 16+ have listened to a podcast in the past month. Stuff Head of Audio Laura Heathcote says: “This is our first step into paid audio subscriptions which is a burgeoning and data-rich media platform - globally the podcast market is worth $30 billion and growing exponentially each year.

“We’re thrilled to kick off our subscription offering with The Lost Boy, a gripping story featuring high-quality journalism, vivid characters and a compelling mystery. The podcast will enthral both local and international subscribers."

From today, the first two episodes of The Lost Boy will be free on podcast platforms including Apple and Spotify and through stuff.co.nz, New Zealand’s largest digital news site. Episodes three to six can be unlocked through a subscription to The Press or by going to listen.stuff.co.nz/thelostboy.

About Stuff Group

Proudly independent and New Zealand-owned, Stuff connects with almost 3.4 million Kiwis every month across its major businesses, delivering quality news, content and experiences that help make Aotearoa a better place. Stuff Digital has unrivalled reach across the nation through number one news website stuff.co.nz and homegrown social network Neighbourly. Stuff Masthead Publishing connects with audiences through subscriber-led digital and printed metropolitan, regional and community publications, as well as a range of much-loved consumer magazines. Stuff Brand Connections arms advertisers and partners with a comprehensive range of cross-media advertising and Stuff Events solutions.

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