Jan 15, 2021 - Economy

Freakonomics Radio releases 10 years worth of archives for free


Freakonomics Radio will release its entire 10-year archive — nearly 500 episodes — for free across all podcast platforms this Sunday.

Why it matters: As the podcast landscape becomes more centralized among a few key subscription players, access to all podcast content has become limited. Freakonomics, one of the most popular podcasts in the world, wants to ensure that as many people as possible can listen to its content.

Details: Prior to the archive release, which coincides with the program's 10-year anniversary, only recent Freakonomics episodes have been available on all platforms, with the archives accessible only to users of the Stitcher podcast app.

  • While Freakonomics Radio is broadcast on more than 200 NPR stations, including 32 of the top 50 markets, the team is aiming to ensure its on-demand presence is just as accessible.

By the numbers: Freakonomics Radio began 10 years ago as a spin-off of Stephen Dubner's popular Freakonomics book series. Today, each new episode gets 2 million downloads. In 2020, the show saw more than 100 million downloads.

  • Freakonomics Radio has won many awards and reporting from the show has been cited by dozens of mainstream publications.

What's next: The archive opening coincides with an expansion of the Freakonomics Radio Network. Dubner launched the network last year with two new shows: "No Stupid Questions" with Dubner and MacArthur Genius-winning author Angela Duckworth and "People I (Mostly) Admire," with his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt.

  • Moving forward, Freakonomics Radio Network has hired digital media veteran Mark McClusky as editorial director to grow the show and network.
  • There are multiple new podcasts currently in development slated to debut in 2021.
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