Kauppalehti’s self-hosted true crime podcast captures engaged audience

By Johanna Suhonen

Alma Media

Helsinki, Finland


Could there be room for some entertainment in a very serious financial news publication — at least during the holiday season? Yes, said the subscribers of Kauppalehti, the leading financial newspaper in Finland.

True crime stories have been around for decades, but during the past five or six years, they have surprisingly grown in popularity. Behind this new appeal are obviously the entertaining TV documentaries. Yet, an increasing number of true crime stories have found a new growing audience: podcasts. There seems to be at least two or three true crime podcasts in every top-10 list. And what has been even more unexpected is that it is mostly the women listening to and watching these stories.

Kauppalehti heavily marketed its true crime podcast with the intention of placing it behind a paywall right away.
Kauppalehti heavily marketed its true crime podcast with the intention of placing it behind a paywall right away.

For a while now, we have been debating about whether there could be a true crime series at Kauppalehti, and this past fall we decided to go for it.

In a financial newspaper, the series was obviously going to be about financial crime, which provides a wide and rich set of more recent as well as older stories. Karo Hämäläinen, an experienced financial journalist and author of several fiction and non-fiction books (including three successful financial crime novels), was hired for the series.

So, why did decide to do this now at Kauppalehti? As with many other media outlets, we have been testing podcasts, with differing results. We have mostly produced sponsored podcasts and used multiple publishing platforms including our own site, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Usually there has been one advertiser in each series. The topics have varied from stock market moves to the situation in China.

This time we chose to do this differently. At least for now, we’ve decided to publish only on our own channels. We’re also placing the podcast behind the paywall from the very start. The first story was published between Christmas and New Year’s Day, when our subscribers might have more time and appetite for more entertaining material.

We marketed the series heavily to our subscribers and potential subscribers. We would be happy to see this bring new and maybe even new women subscribers to Kauppalehti!

The first results of the podcast have made us really happy. Our subscribers certainly found the first chapter of the series, and it’s already the most popular podcast on our own channels. As a subscriber engagement tactic, we succeeded. New sales from the podcast are growing steadily, but there is still a lot we have planned in that sector.

We were right: It seems there is room for a bit of entertainment in serious financial news media!

About Johanna Suhonen

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