Fox News Tries Building Podcast Audience With Free ‘Five’.

In an effort to broaden its podcast audience, Fox News Radio is launching its first free, ad-supported digital audio program. The free-version podcast of “The Five,” Fox News’ daily 9pm panel news show, will be supported by national advertising in concert with digital audio ad platform TargetSpot.

Using TargetSpot’s platform, Fox News will be able to dynamically insert ads into “The Five” podcasts, access its ad serving technology and work with TargetSpot’s partner brands.

As more digital audio publishers experiment with ad-supported and subscription tiers, Fox News Radio will likely add more free, ad-supported podcasts to its offerings. “The Five” podcast is available on most popular podcast platforms, including Apple’s Podcast app, Stitcher, Google Play and TuneIn.

“With the growing popularity of podcasts, it’s only natural we’d expand our digital platform and allow listeners free unlimited access to premium content,” said Doug Murphy, Fox News radio VP and general manager, to RAIN News. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with TargetSpot and connecting top advertisers with one of Fox News’ highest-rated programs, ‘The Five,’ in audio podcast form.”

TargetSpot offers advertisers access to inventory in premium digital audio programming and can deliver audio, display and pre-roll video ads targeted by gender, behavioral segments, listening preferences and geography.

Until now, Fox’s lineup of premium podcasts, which also includes “The Shepard Report” and “Hannity,” has been available by individual subscription, and the network offers both annual and monthly plans wherein users can purchase single episodes. A subscription to “The Five,” for instance, costs $5.95 per month or $55.95 for the year. Single episodes are available for $1.49. Fox’s other premium podcasts are available under similar pricing plans.

Fox is still offering some incentives for those listeners willing to pay for the podcasts. Under the paid plan, users will get early access to episodes, email support and more access to the library of back episodes. For now, however, all of Fox News’ other premium podcasts remain subscription-only.

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