services

  1. Concept
  2. Interviews with experts
  3. Scripting
  4. Podcast production
  5. Soundtrack & sound design

Team High Tech Crime (THTC) is part of the Dutch police and deals with complex, (inter)national cybercrime cases.

Tech journalist Vivianne Bendermacher reconstructs one case in each episode: from major malware providers to dismantling a global cryptocommunications service. To do so, Vivianne speaks to those involved and to THTC staff, who give a unique insight into their specialist methods.

The aim.

Team High Tech Crime (THTC) is responsible for detecting cybercrime. This department is permanently looking for new IT personnel: a challenge with the current tight labour market. Through various campaigns, THTC therefore profiles itself as an interesting employer.

Within the existing media mix, the police searched for a form to give potential employees a comprehensive and good image of working at THTC: technically challenging in terms of content, socially relevant and with the powers of the police, the work is also more exciting than at an 'ordinary' company.

Besides employer branding, the secondary objective was to reach young 'whizzkids' whose digital skills are in danger of going down the wrong path. The podcast had to discourage them from doing so. The objective for the wider audience is to make it more aware of online dangers.

The idea.

Target group research showed that podcasts are a widely used medium within the intended target group (professional IT background, HBO/WO thinking level, age approx. 25-35). As podcasts offer a lot of room for in-depth and background information, it was therefore a logical addition to the existing media and communication mix.

One of the most popular podcast genres is true crime: series in which true crimes are reconstructed. This insight formed the basis for the format of Takedown: a series of six episodes in which each episode features a reconstruction of a cybercrime case THTC worked on. A podcast also made it relatively easy to protect the privacy of police and justice officials, as they could be interviewed anonymously. What is highly desirable within this field.

The outcome

The podcast Takedown focuses on one cybercrime case in each episode. This provides an opportunity to tell a story with a clear build-up. After all, the more specific and concrete a story is, the more it captures the imagination.

Each episode starts with a report or problem, after which THTC staff and others involved then tell how they proceeded. Each episode features 3-4 interviewees who reconstruct how they managed to solve the case: often a complex process, with unexpected twists and obstacles. The episodes cover such topics as rolling up extensive crypto-communications networks and tracking down malware builders.

Because the podcast was developed in-house, it was possible to interview people who do not usually talk about their work in public. This provided an unprecedented and unprecedented insight into how this specialist team works.

A specially developed soundtrack is used to enhance the story and add suspense.

To ensure that the right tone-of-voice was found, we collaborated with tech platform Tweakers. Following each episode, an extensive article was also published on the Tweakers website with the backgrounds of the case in question.

The impact.

Research was conducted among listeners by both Initiative and research company MARE. With the main results being:

  • Average rating: 8.2;
  • 87% want to listen to more episodes;
  • More than 80%
    ......would recommend Takedown to others;
    ...finds the podcast appropriate for policing;
    ...finds the podcast personally engaging;
    ...has become more interested in the work of THTC;
  • 71% learnt something new about working as an IT professional in the police;
  • 39% want to learn more about working as a police IT professional;
  • Around the time the episodes of Takedown were published, there was a sharp increase in traffic on the website referenced from the podcast (kombijdepolitie.nl)

Quantitative results
The results below refer to the first 3 months after going live (until mid-February 2024):

  • Number of downloads: approx. 85,000 (target 50,000);
  • Consumption ratio: average per episode 87% (target 70%);
  • For weeks at #1 in 'Technology' subcategory in Apple Podcasts;
  • #11 in hit list Top Podcasts in Spotify

Credits.

  • The Dutch Police / THTC: client
  • Mediahuis NRC: account management & media partner
  • Audio agency Airborne: concept & production podcast
  • Tweakers Partners: in-depth content articles
  • Initiative: ...

Listen to Takedown in Spotify

Or via any other listening platform such as NRC audio app, Apple Podcasts, Podimo or Castbox.

Relevant websites.

8,2

Average score

87%

Wants to listen to more episodes

Aflv 1 cropped

71%

Learned something new about working as an IT professional in the police force

87%

Consumption rate

Tweakers

Good podcast by the way, high production quality and very interesting! Will there be more episodes to come?