Kids are listening to podcasts in a big way, and most of them aren’t multi-tasking when they do, according to the results of an online survey called “The Kids Listen: Understanding our Audience” that was conducted by US nonprofit Kids Listen between October 2019 to February 2020.
More than half (63%) of the survey’s respondents said they have been listening to podcasts for a year or more. But a significant number of kids have started engaging in this entertainment genre more recently, with 16% saying they’ve been listening for three months or less.
When it comes to what podcasts kids want to hear, 69% are most into “stories” (narrative fictional pieces), followed by science (56%) and then fact-based non-fiction (32%).
In the households Kids Listen surveyed, the majority of kids (38%) who consume podcasts are seven- to eight-year-olds, followed closely by five- to six-year-olds (35%) and nine to 10s (31%).
Almost half of all kids (49%) listen to podcasts for the fun and entertainment value, while 33% tune in for education, and 25% look to them as something to do in the car. Other response options including “it’s a screen-free entertainment option,” “it’s calming” and “podcasts are good for the whole family” each cornered 5%.
Kids Listen found that more than three-quarters of kids who tune in to podcasts are “active” listeners who like to fully focus on that content while it’s playing. And for the multitaskers, 16% listen while doing chores and 13% while doing homework.
Podcasts also score high on the co-listening charts. More than half (63%) of the survey’s parent respondents said they engage when their kids are actively listening. By scenario, 59% listen along when the family is on a drive together, and 38% do so while tackling household chores together.
Podcast listeners aren’t that keen on ads—only 25% of the survey group said they don’t mind ads, while 62% said they don’t like commercials, but tolerate them for free content. In terms of what ad types are best, 34% like it when a host or characters from the show read an ad, compared to 38% who have no preference how ads are delivered, and 6% who said they prefer having the ad featured organically in the story. The best ads, according to the survey, are for other kids podcasts or educational materials.
Kids Listen logged 1,134 online responses between October 15, 2019 and February 4, 2020. The data represented in the report is based on adult respondents who have at least one listener in a particular age group. The final analysis sample included 683 cases after removing duplicate responses.
Photo by Alireza Attaris on Unsplash