According to the Kids Podcast Listener Report, 80% of children discovered podcasts thanks to their parents. Image: Shutterstock
In the United States, 42% of Americans over 12 listen to a podcast at least once a month. While all generations are embracing this relatively new medium, studios and platforms are increasingly banking on Generation Alpha by developing programs specially for them.
Children are the future. Especially for podcast producers. According to the Edison Research publications "The Infinite Dial 2023" and "Kids Podcast Listener Report," Millennials represent the largest proportion of podcast listeners in the USA. Some 50% of them listen to podcasts every week. In fact, Americans are spending more and more time listening to podcasts. Generations X and Z come in a close second at 30% each, while 23% of Generation Alpha are weekly podcast listeners. Yet it's this generation that podcast producers have been targeting lately, developing programs designed specifically for this age group.
And with good reason. According to Edison Research's "The Gen Z Podcast Listener Report 2023," 13-24 year-olds who started listening to podcasts as children spend an average of three hours more per week listening to podcasts than those who started later in life. This habit, adopted at an early age, could prove crucial to the podcast market.
Disney gets in on the action
With this in mind, production studios are starting to take an interest in this new target group. And what better way than to adapt literary works created with children in mind, such as the books of "Dr. Seuss." On September 18, Amazon's podcast division, Wondery, will launch a podcast adaptation of the children's classic "The Cat in the Hat." The podcast will feature songs to recite the alphabet, tongue twisters to repeat and word games. It's a fun way to keep children entertained in a format that doesn't feature a distracting video. The new service will be available exclusively on the Wondery+ subscription service via the Wondery app and Wondery Kids+ on Apple Podcasts. Other podcast adaptations of the "Dr. Seuss" books will follow shortly, also targeting an audience aged 3 to 12.
And of course, it's difficult to imagine a market for children's content without Disney. The company has announced the launch of a podcast about "Frozen," which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. "The Disney Frozen Podcast: Forces of Nature" will consist of 12 episodes, targeting 6-12 year-olds. The story will follow the adventures of Anna and Elsa as the spirits of nature are threatened and strange mechanical beings invade the enchanted forest. Other characters could well join the story, which could have a direct impact on the next opus in the saga, which has already been announced but has no release date yet.
Edison Research's "Kids Podcast Listener Report" nevertheless revealed that 18% of parents feel that podcasts for their children are lacking on platforms. Kids particularly like podcasts about games (51%), music (43%), comedy (39%), short stories (39%), adventure (36%), bedtime stories (36%).