Drug Science is the UK’s leading independent scientific body on drugs. It provides the public with the most up to date information on the drugs, away from the influence of commercial or political pressures.
The team wanted to use podcasting as a way to more actively engage their audience, so they enlisted our help.
The challenge was to create a format that would allow some dense topics to become entertaining and accessible, and then to make sure the podcast was heard by as many people as possible.
Our strategy was to adopt a panel format, with two or three guests allowing us to represent different sides of the argument. On top of this each guest brought their own (often substantial) online following – which meant more people discovered the podcast.
Guests we secured included Adrian Chiles from the BBC, Dr. Christian Jessen from Channel 4 and Joss Stone; singer and medicinal cannabis advocate, who brought with her an online following of over 2 million.
The show's host Professor Nutt is a very busy man, who spends his time flying around the world to speak about his research. With no time to prepare for the interviews, it was up to us to liaise with guests and put together his line of questioning, which we provided as a document on the day of recording.
We also had to be flexible with recording locations, often employing our mobile rig to squeeze recordings into Professor Nutt’s busy schedule wherever he might be.
The launch of a new podcast is critical for its longterm success, so we brought our expertise and set to work alongside Drug Science’s digital team in the run up to release. We created a bespoke launch schedule, and made image and video assets for guests to use on their socials.
On launch, the series topped the Apple charts in both the Business and Science categories, and was later featured on BBC Panorama.
At the beginning of each episode we ran an ad announcing the fact that our series finale would be recorded live with an audience. We provided a ticket link in the show notes and hired out a venue in Central London.
Weeks in advance the event had sold out, with no other promotion except unsponsored social media posts. The evening was a thoroughly enjoyable way to finish off season one!
"The Drug Science podcast produced by Fascinate has been an immediate success! We recorded 6 episodes for the first season, rapidly achieving 350k+ downloads within a few months. The highly engaged, personal approach led by Sam and Rich, coupled with incredible production quality, has been the key reason for this achievement."
David Badcock, CEO of Drug Science