Companion podcasts: A Love Island case study

Emily Lowe
Partnerships Manager
10th May 2023
From the top of podcast charts to viral TikTok videos, companion podcasts are everywhere. Have you ever wondered why companion podcasts are becoming increasingly popular among TV production companies and viewers alike? We’ll be taking a closer look at one such podcast, Love Island: The Morning After, whose latest season was produced by the Listen team in collaboration with ITV.

🧠 What are companion podcasts?

Companion podcasts, refer to those shows that accompany a TV series or movie. Often hosted by super-fans or cast-members themselves, a companion podcast provide a space for those that love a TV series or movie to get more from that content.

📺 What does a companion podcast look like?

  • The behind-the-scenes and ‘making of’ podcast: often featuring interviews with cast and crew to spill exclusive insights on what it was like to be on set and point out minor details even mega-fans could miss. Think Downton Abbey: The Official Podcast [LINK]
  • The recap and analysis podcasts: such as episode reviews or discussion of plot points and events – e.g. Love Island: The Morning After, Netflix’s We Have The Receipts, Geordie Shore: The Podcast, Dishonest Fun: The Circle’s Official Podcast
  • Fictional extension of the film or programme – e.g. Rebel Robin: Surviving Hawkins, a Stranger Things spin-off podcast from Netflix

🌴 What is Love Island: The Morning After?

Love Island: The Morning After is produced in collaboration with ITV and is a daily companion podcast to the ultimate reality TV show, Love Island. Hosted by ex-Islander Indiyah Polack and Sam Thompson, the Love Island super-fan of MIC fame, the podcast offers daily commentary and analysis of the previous evening’s episode, as well as interviews with ex-Islanders and those who have been dumped in the current season.

🏆 What makes Love Island: The Morning After a hit?

By featuring interviews with former contestants and those who have been dumped in the current season, the podcast helps listeners to get to know the contestants on a more personal level. This, in turn, can create a stronger emotional connection between viewers and the show, which can lead to increased loyalty and engagement – viewers are more likely to keep tuning in to Love Island if they are more invested in the cast and the storylines.
The podcast has also been successful in extending the reach of the Love Island franchise beyond the show’s broadcast. By providing daily commentary and analysis of the previous evening’s episode, the podcast keeps viewers engaged with the show on a daily basis, even when the show is not on air. This helps to create a sense of continuity, buzz and excitement around the show, which can lead to increased viewership and engagement.

👀 Why do you need a companion podcast?

  1. A huge audience is up for grabs According to Podtrac, the top 10 TV companion podcasts had a combined average weekly audience of over 2 million listeners in 2020. This means there’s a huge opportunity to attract new audiences for your TV show or film.
  2. In Love Island’s case, the podcast helps to drive awareness of the show and creates a dialogue around it, becoming a discussion point among friends and fans online and generating millions of downloads.
  3. The TV & Film category is booming According to Ofcom’s April 2023 Podcast Survey, 46% of podcast listeners tune into TV and Film podcasts at least once a month, and an impressive 51% have listened to a podcast linked to a TV programme – a 4% increase from 2022. This demonstrates that there’s a growing appetite for TV & Film content, making now a great time to capitalise on this increased interest.
  4. Love Island: The Morning After satisfies this demand and meets TV-loving audiences where they are already consuming other podcast content. ITV capitalising on this with the Love Island podcast has meant the show appeared consistently in the top 10 TV & Film podcasts for the duration of this latest winter season.
  5. Deepen the connection with viewers According to a study by HBO Max, 85% of those who listened to a programme’s official podcast felt more connected to the show. Companion podcasts provide an additional platform for engaging with viewers and building a dedicated fan base. By offering behind-the-scenes insights and interviews with show insiders, companion podcasts can help to deepen viewers’ connection to the show, which is more likely to result in viewers making Love Island part of their TV viewing routine and coming back again for subsequent seasons.
  6. Grow the community around your show Companion podcasts help to continue the conversation around a show or film and provide an opportunity to connect fans together. This can help to create a sense of community around the show, which can be particularly valuable for fans who may not have anyone in their immediate social circle who shares their love of the show.In the case of Love Island: The Morning After, this is visible in the number of reviews and ratings left on the podcast itself, as well as in mentions of the podcast and its hosts across social media – not to mention engagement on social posts from the Love Island official accounts.
In conclusion, companion podcasts like Love Island: The Morning After are a valuable addition to the TV landscape. They offer TV shows an additional platform for engaging with viewers and building a dedicated fan base, while also providing viewers with a deeper understanding of the show and its production, as well as opportunities for engagement and community building.

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