Public media organizations PBS KIDS, PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are teaming up to launch a 16-week podcast development program for kids content creators.
Running from May to September, the Ready to Learn Podcast Accelerator will pick five teams to develop and produce educational audio content for four- to eight-year-olds. PBS KIDS will then pick one of the podcasts to distribute on its digital platforms.
Production teams that are accepted into the program will receive US$10,000 in funding to help them produce the podcast and cover operational costs and travel. The teams will also get access to PRX’s podcast distribution and advertising platforms to build the reach of their final products.
Applications are open now until March 19 to US-based kids content companies, indie production teams and public media organizations. The pitches can be in any genre, but they must have a focus on introducing kids to the concept of work and jobs.
The global podcasting market is growing as more consumers embrace the medium, with Grand View Research predicting its global market will increase 27% by 2027, from US$9.28 billion in 2019. Big players including Marvel and National Geographic have lined up podcasts in recent years. And more recently Sesame Workshop, audio-first producer Wonkybot and kids audio hosting platform Pinna have starting producing original content to harness some of that demand.
The accelerator program is part of how PBS and CPB are spending the multi-year Ready to Learn Grant they received from the US Department of Education in October.