There are many reasons to listen to the excellent new podcast S-Town. It's strange and riveting, a slow-burning mystery unravelled skilfully by host Brian Reed and anchored by the man who sparked the investigation into his small Alabama town, John B. McLemore. It's character-driven true crime with a cinematic and Southern-Gothic flair; a surprising and fascinating portrait of a small rural town with dark secrets below the surface. And, as of Monday, April 3, it's officially set a new record in the world of podcasts.
All seven episodes of S-Town, produced by the team behind the long-running This American Life and its sensationally popular spinoff Serial, became available to screen on March 28. In the first four days of its release, S-Town was downloaded a mind-blowing 10 million times, Variety reports. By comparison, it took predecessor Serial seven weeks to hit that number. Equally impressive is the act that S-Town already has nearly 1.5 million subscribers to its feed, per Variety.
So, if you needed another reason to listen, there's the simple but persuasive fact that pretty much everybody else is. You don't want the whole thing spoiled by a big-mouthed (or two strangers chatting in the line at Starbucks). And given that the whole season is available to stream right this second — on iTunes and the series' site, as well as elsewhere — there's really no good reason not to rip through the thing ASAP.