How the team behind The Traitors: Uncloaked rewrote the companion podcast playbook

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By Darby Dorras, Director of Content

3.15 million linear viewers tuned in for the finale of The Traitors: Uncloaked in January 2024. The achievement marked seven times the BBC 2 slot’s average viewership.

Here’s how we took everything we know about creating hit companion podcasts, and rewrote it to create the companion show that lead, and supercharged, the social conversation around The Traitors.

  1.  ‘A Podcast With Some Cameras Pointed At It’ had to be the approach. Podcasting is our absolute expertise and we could identify the sensibilities of what makes the best companion pods so intimate and addictive. No matter what the decision was, reminding ourselves of this mantra led the way.
  2.  Offering Something Properly Compelling For Fans. We spent a good chunk of time truly understanding the show and the relationship fans have with it. Getting exclusive access to the cast when they left the castle, with footage of the banished and murdered discovering who the Traitors were became our biggest USP.
  3.  Recreating the world of The Traitors on our set. Uncloaked couldn’t feel like an add on; it had to feel like the basement of the castle, it had to live and breathe each episode of the main show with the props and visual jokes.
  4. Fine tuning the audience journey. How would we get Traitors fans from BBC1 over to BBC2 for Uncloaked, then on to BBC Sounds after for our bonus material became a question we spent a lot of time answering. We didn’t get it right on day 1 but by tailoring our approach, and getting the BBC onboard the numbers grew and grew.
  5.  Building a genuinely world-class team of visual experts around our core podcast powerhouse. By Friday night’s live audience finale our whole team working together was a phenomenal thing to witness – well oiled doesn’t come close!
  6. Proper trust between partners was vital. The Traitors is a monolith – we were just one small part of it. But BBC TV, BBC Sounds, Studio Lambert and Listen joined forces in a way which became very rare, and very powerful.
  7.  Taking risks and moving mountains, the whole team, across our various companies were all in pursuit of making a brilliant show. From day 1 the mission we all aligned on was ‘making something to break the mould.’

Uncloaked was a huge creative challenge. The stakes were massive and it required so many individuals to come together and do their best – and the results we’re extraordinary. We’ve had so many comments from audience members who found the show and have never before consumed a podcast. This show brought podcasting even more into the mainstream and numbers aside, that’s a success.

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