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Jul 13, 2023 12:17 PM

Lighting the Fuse – Mission: Possible & The Power of Fan Podcasting

One of the biggest strengths of single-topic ‘narrow podcasting’, as we like to call it over at The Podcast Guys, is the unbelievable community which can be built around a mutual passion for the subject matter, no matter how niche or mainstream it may be.

Committed fanbases are the lifeblood of almost any media or sports franchise you can think of, and that’s because there’s one thing they can do that the franchises themselves can’t – speak from the perspective of a passionate every day fan.

What does it take for fan media to reach new heights?

In 2023, fan media, in particular fan podcasting, is an essential cornerstone of any dedicated and lasting fanbase. We see it regularly in a sporting context, with fan media companies such as Arsenal Fan TV and The Anfield Wrap becoming small media powerhouses off the back of what is essentially a few friends meeting up to talk footy. Big success stories like that are few and far between, however.

The lucky break must come at the right time.

*cue the Mission: Impossible theme music*

For most fans, such as Drew Taylor and Charles Hood (the hosts of Light the Fuse) a podcast dedicated to the Mission: Impossible series, becoming an ‘official’ podcast was never a realistic objective.

For most studios, such as Paramount, signing a fan podcast on to become the official podcast would never cross their minds. Until now.

In the run up to the release of the new Mission Impossible flick, Paramount confirmed that Light the Fuse will join the growing Paramount Audio library, securing its place as the official companion podcast for the Mission: Impossible franchise.

This news comes just in time for the release of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One. Whilst questions will be asked about how the show’s content may change, the line-up for the first (relaunched) episode shows that things are headed in an exciting new direction…

To give you an idea of just how much these guys love Mission: Impossible, the first nine episodes of Light the Fuse go through the nine films in sequence – the latest episode was episode 237.

In the first episode as the official partner, Light the Fuse kicks off its new phase by bringing listeners an interview with none other than everyone’s favourite on-screen sprinter, Tom Cruise, the star and producer of the Mission: Impossible series.

Joining Cruise is Christopher McQuarrie, the acclaimed director behind several of the franchise’s instalments.

What does this partnership mean for the fan podcast landscape?

There’s something about this partnership with Paramount which feels really heartening.

At its core, podcasting is a medium where people can pull up a chair and chat for hours about what they love – this feels like the ultimate expression of that vibe. Two guys chatting Mission: Impossible, but now Tom Cruise is in the room with them.

On the side of Paramount, it’s completely brilliant to see a studio take this approach to branded podcasting. There have been countless examples of big brands trying to emulate the passionate voice of fans by imitating them instead of amplifying them.

Hat’s off to Paramount for lighting the fuse.

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Do you think your fan podcast has the following, personality and insights to make the jump to the next level? Light your own fuse and get in touch!

Posted in: Thought Leadership, Trends

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