Pandora streams Serial Season 2 in five minute chunks   ◆

In this Investors Business Daily article on Pandora’s acquisition of TicketFly was this tidbit that Pandora

[…] would become the exclusive streaming partner for season two of hit podcast “Serial.”

The launch date for Serial’s season two wasn’t disclosed, and that podcast will still be available for download from other sites. Pandora will make Serial’s season one available in its entirety for listeners starting Nov. 24 […]. Each episode will be broken into five-minute chunks, allowing listeners to more easily pick up where they left off, go back to re-listen, or skip ahead, Pandora said.

What does this mean, five minute chunks? Do they mean each episode will be broken into separate five minute chunks? That there will be built-in end points every five minutes to make it easy to pause and resume?

Wired says the show

will be available in five-minute chapters on Pandora, tailored to listeners accustomed to the length of a song, rather than an hour-long podcast.

That strikes me as odd. Will season 2 be written to accommodate that five minute structure? Will each “chapter” have an opening and closing? Will their be ads on each one of the chapters? (“Chapter 4 of Season 2 of Serial is brought to you by….”)

The Pandora press release says

Pandora engineers focused on bringing “chapterized” content to the platform for the first time.

So engineers did something to make this work; is this automatic? How will that affect the flow of the story? Will you “break” in the middle of a sentence or (worse!) an ad?

And what’s with this whole “exclusive streaming partner”? Almost every podcast player app will stream content if the hosting server supports byte-range requests; are they saying they’ll be hosting Serial season 2 on a server that doesn’t?

Everything about this is confusing to me.