‘Serial,’ ‘This American Life’ to appear on Pandora

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This American Life and Serial announced a deal with Pandora Monday giving the streaming service some exclusive rights to the shows. But Pandora will not be the exclusive home of the show.

An Associated Press story and a Pandora press release said that Pandora would be the “exclusive streaming partner” for Serial and TAL. In a correction, AP later said that “while ‘Serial’ has expanded to Pandora, it will still be available on iTunes and other podcast apps.”

The Pandora deal “is exclusive in that they can host files and can sell advertising on the shows on their platform,” said Seth Lind, director of operations at TAL. “We won’t be granting those rights to any other platforms during this deal.”

Lind emphasized that the shows will remain available as podcasts via all current platforms, including iTunes, Stitcher and Apple’s podcast app. Episodes will also be available on the shows’ websites, and TAL will still be available through its app.

“Those apps aren’t ‘streaming’ because they point to our podcast files, with our ads,” Lind said in an email.

Public radio stations will continue to be able to stream TAL live on their websites, he said.

The deal aims to bring TAL and Serial to an even larger audience, according to the press release.

“For people already listening to Serial and This American Life, nothing will change,” said Ira Glass, editorial advisor of Serial and host and e.p. of This American Life, in the press release. “But we believe lots of people who’d like our shows simply haven’t heard of them, or haven’t started listening to podcasts. . . . Pandora reaches millions of people who never listen to public radio or download podcasts. This’ll get our shows to them.”

The launch date for Serial’s second season has not been determined. It will be available on Pandora and as a podcast Thursdays at 6 a.m. Eastern time. Season one of Serial will join Pandora’s offerings as of Nov. 24.

The Pandora version of the show will differ slightly from the podcast version, in addition to having different advertisers. “Each episode will be broken into five minute chunks, allowing listeners to more easily pick up where they left off, go back to re-listen, or skip ahead,” according to the press release. “This will not affect the experience for those who want to listen to an episode in its entirety; each will play through with no interruptions.”

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