Audio in the Lockdown Household: The Emergence of Podcasts Among Kids & Families

New research confirms that podcasts are now emerging as an option to fill gaps in parenting and education as the pandemic continues. Read detailed results here.

The author(s)

  • Dorothy Advincula Senior Vice President, US, Head of Audience Measurement and Insights
  • Mia Villanueva Senior Account Manager, US, Media Development
  • Leandro Assuncao Research Analyst, US, Generation Ipsos
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As families in America make their decision on how to send their kids back to school this season, parents are bombarded with options on how to educate and entertain their children from home. Ipsos’ recent report on the role of TV in the Lockdown Household has shown that viewership has increased and evolved to fill gaps in parenting and education that the pandemic has created. Podcasts are emerging as an option in this evolution. 1 in 4 kids now listen to podcasts (a 20% increase in the past 6 months during the April/May lockdown period). Children are now turning their ears to a whole new format as public broadcasters, such as NPR and BBC shift their audio content approach and refine their storytelling.

What this shows is that podcasts are quietly evolving the storytelling arena. Not only are podcasts serving as an alternative media and screen timeout option for kids and parents, listening to them together has become a shared experience. In fact, 71% of parents believe a kid’s opinion on which type of content they will listen to on the radio or podcast is important.

Additional highlights on podcast listening among children are in the infographics below: 

  • 58% of kids who listen to podcasts are boys.
  • Top podcast genres include music, comedy, and kids & family content.
  • Even though the preferred genres vary by age groups, music is still the favorite across all ages with a total of 40% of kids listening to it.
  • Compared to 6 months ago, almost all genres have had significant increase in their percentages.
  • Many older kids in the household are left to make more independent decisions regarding their media choices. This is evident as half of kids who listen to podcasts are age 13-17.

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But kids are not the only ones on the podcast bandwagon.  In fact, they are likely exposed to the medium through their parents. Parents also listen to podcasts to find information related to their kids. Our study found that 1 in 5 parents listen to podcasts online to find information on things like child development and parenting advice.

With the number of kids listening to podcasts and the amount of podcast platforms increasing, brands should be aware of the niche market that kids’ podcasts represent. 

Takeaways:

  1. Meet the new media kid on the block: Podcasts are a new channel that marketers must consider for brand communications and engage with consumers, especially among children. 
  2. Make content here: While podcast options and content are proliferating rapidly, content for children, especially teenagers, are wanted. As production is postponed or paused for family-oriented video content due to the pandemic, podcasts are a new practical and safe way to still make and deliver stories and messages. The portability and digital nature of podcasts make it possible for these to be created without needing a location shoot or a set.
  3. More stories please: As podcast audiences expand to children and families, there is a need for more family-oriented or age-appropriate podcast content.

Trends in podcast consumption and a detailed profile of its users can be found in the Kids and Family Spring 2020 database. As with many other trends that emerged due to the pandemic, the future of podcasts among kids will be more visible in our Fall 2020 study, to be released in November. Stay tuned for further insights on this subject.

The Ipsos Kids and Family study offers comprehensive insights on the family media experience. To learn more, contact Amy.Hunt@ipsos.com  

The author(s)

  • Dorothy Advincula Senior Vice President, US, Head of Audience Measurement and Insights
  • Mia Villanueva Senior Account Manager, US, Media Development
  • Leandro Assuncao Research Analyst, US, Generation Ipsos

Media & Brand Communication