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In A First, Tenderfoot TV Drops An Entire Show’s Season To Binge – No Subscription Required.

Tenderfoot TV, the Atlanta-based independent content production studio, has had more than 800 million downloads with hits like “To Live and Die in LA” and “Monster.” That has attracted plenty of subscribers to its Tenderfoot+ channel on Apple Podcasts. But as it prepared to release the highest profile show in its new spring slate – a podcast called To Die For, a joint production with iHeartPodcasts – a decision was made to do something the never did before. The entire season of To Die For was dropped in one fell swoop, and for the first time, it doesn’t take a subscription to hear it.

“It will be the first time you've ever released a full bingeable series that’s not behind a paywall,” Tenderfoot President Donald Albright says. “We're always looking at additional ways for audience retention from episode one to episode two. And there's a drop off rate, it could be 30%. It could be 50%, depending on the series. After a couple of months of being out, we'll be able to look at episode one numbers and finale numbers and see how that compares to other series. That will help us dissect what worked, and what didn't work.”

In an interview, Albright explains the decision to put out To Die For is based on an experience they had last year when the podcast Dear Alana was released. The show was about the mysterious disappearance of a Colorado mother. When Tenderfoot opted to release Dear Alana on its own to avoid altering how the story was presented, it also dictated its release schedule. 

“It's a very emotional story, a sad story – but an important story. And if you had a week in between episodes, it might be too traumatic or too deep, or even too sad, for you to come back the next week,” Albright says. “If you have an opportunity to listen all in one sitting, or in a couple of days without having those weeks in between, we would be able better retain audience.”

To Die For is intense in a different way, going inside the world of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) spy service, including with an FSB-trained seduction agent has agreed to tell the full story of her training, techniques, targets, and missions.

“This is a really hard story to hear at times. It deals with trauma. And we have for the first time ever decided to put a parental advisory sticker on the cover of the podcast just as an extra visual disclaimer for listeners,” Albright says. “By making it bingeable for everyone, we're hoping that the audience retention from episode to episode increases. And especially throughout this series.”

Hosted by Neil Strauss, To Die For takes listeners into a world of surveillance, blackmail, and love traps. It also explores the tactics that the Russian government has used to brainwash its military into performing unspeakable acts, and the creation of what one FBI agent in the podcast calls an “assembly line” of spies, manufactured in Russia and distributed around the world.

“Anyone I’ve told my story to is dead,” says the Russian source who these episodes revolve around. “I'm ready to share my full story of overcoming lifelong trauma on a platform that can reach many other women at once who have faced similar challenges. There is a power that comes from our experiences, and I hope my story will inspire other women to find their voice and use their experiences to shape a brighter future."

Strauss says he hopes the interviews in the series are not only educational, but also helps raise awareness of not just how the clandestine techniques are used for espionage, but also the impact they have on the people tasked with carrying them out.

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