“Law and Order” Meets Mobile Games:
Announcing Lightspeed’s Investment in Solve.
Three of the ten most downloaded podcasts are true crime; Serial, Dr. Death and S-town. Four of the ten longest running scripted TV shows are too; Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and NCIS. The second most popular genre of books is Mystery/Crime. (Number one is romance/erotica in case you were curious.)
None of this is an accident. Women love the true crime genre.
TV and reading are both under pressure of course. Podcasting is trending upwards. But games are unquestionably taking share of leisure time. And nowhere is this more true than on mobile. A quarter of apps on the App Store are games; it’s the most popular genre by 2x.
So, when Tom Wright told us that he was bringing the True Crime genre to mobile, we paid attention.
Tom knows a thing or two about mobile. He was CEO of Vertical Networks, the leading publisher of stories on Snapchat* Discover. One of the shows that he published there was Solve, a new, true crime inspired murder mystery published once a week. Each suspect is interviewed and at the end of the show, viewers determine who is guilty and swipe up to see if they got the right person. It’s a show that tops out on engagement on Snapchat — for the core viewer, average view times are longer than the show itself. That means that people are watching more than once to make sure that they get all the clues.
We’ve long believed that every genre of TV will have a mobile analogue. The mobile version of reality TV is Snapchat and Instagram stories. The mobile version of ESPN is Twitch. The mobile version of CNBC is Cheddar*. The mobile version of the Cooking Channel is Tasty or Tastemade. The mobile version of gameshows is HQ Trivia*.
The mobile version of mystery and true crime will be Solve. Tom and his team are turning it into a mobile game and new podcast series, and it will be huge. We’re excited to lead their recently announced $20M round of financing and support them on their journey.
*indicates Lightspeed portfolio company