Chart-topping digital audio production CHILDERS – The Full Story has joined the world’s biggest podcast company Acast.

Released as an independent True Crime podcast series through June and July this year, CHILDERS soared to number one on the Australian charts.

It has currently clocked more than 300,000 downloads and has charted in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Researched, written and produced by award-winning journalist Paul Cochrane over nine months, CHILDERS is the story of the Palace Backpacker Hostel fire which killed 15 young men and women in the small highway town in Queensland on 23 June, 2000. Paul was the first television reporter on scene at the fire.

The story is told through the lens of the victims’ families, survivors of the fire, town leaders, first responders, community volunteers and media identities who have reflected on the events triggered by the senseless arson attack 20 years ago.

The narrative is complemented by a powerful original soundtrack composed by Melbourne musician Zoltan Fecso who designed and edited the podcast.

“I am thrilled to be joining Acast with CHILDERS, a piece of work I am so incredibly proud of,” Paul said.

“CHILDERS was a long time in the making but it started as an idea which turned into a concept and ultimately a story which continued to grow and evolve as the investigation developed. It was literally written on the couch in my loungeroom so to see it now being signed up by the world’s biggest podcast platform is both humbling and rewarding.”

“I was very fortunate to have formed a creative connection with Zoltan Fecso who I consider to be one of the most talented sound producers in the country, but I was privileged to have so many brave men and women across the world feel comfortable and compelled to tell the story of the most traumatic time of their life with such articulate poise, emotion and depth.”

“The power of their story-telling is the shining star in CHILDERS – The Full Story and I implore everyone to take the time to tune in and better understand this major moment in Australian history.”

More than 50 interviews were collected for CHILDERS, with the final product handed over to primary supporter the Bundaberg Regional Council to use in the Memorial to the victims.

“At Acast we are passionate about amplifying and supporting storytellers, so we are very excited to welcome CHILDERS to the Acast family. Australia is known internationally for producing world-class True Crime content and CHILDERS is no exception,” Acast Content Development Manager Jordon Lott said.

“We are excited about partnering with Paul and helping ensure the story of the CHILDERS hostel fire continues to be heard and the memory of the victims is forever respected.”

Acast was co-founded in Sweden in 2014 by Johan Billgren. It now hosts more than 10,000 shows worldwide, including global smash hits such as My Dad Wrote a Porno, The Earios Network, The Lady Vanishes, Forever35, JLC and Wahlgren & Wistam. It also hosts podcasts from publishers such as the BBC, the Guardian, Louie Media, Binge Audio, The Economist, VICE and Vogue.

Acast has a footprint in 13 markets around the world, including the UK, US, Mexico, Australia, France and Germany.

CHILDERS – The Full Story can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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