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Kid’s Audio Market Grows, With Half Of Those Under 12 Now Listening To Podcasts.

There is building interest in podcasting among children and their parents according to a new study of the market by UTA. It finds that half (48%) of U.S. kids ages three to 12 consume podcasts at least weekly. That is up from a year ago when a similar study found that a third of kids listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. And the new data also shows more than two-thirds (67%) of young people consume podcasts at least monthly.

The report says that with more content being created for kids, 93% of kid podcast fans say they have been more interested in the medium during the past year. “The future looks bright for its continued growth,” says the study done by UTA – the Hollywood powerhouse talent agency that currently represents kid-focused audio networks including Tinkercast and Gen-Z Media, as well as shows such as GoKidGo, among others. It also recently made an investment in children and family-focused Starglow Media, which was launched by former UTA agent Jed Baker in August.

While podcasts may seem like a go-to for moms and dads looking to entertain their kids, the data shows that among those aged 3 to 12, it is the children that are initiating podcast listening much more than parents. The study says about seven in ten initiate the activity, which the report says illustrates kids’ passion for podcasts and bodes well for strong continued engagement with the medium.

“Family podcasts have become an important part of how children play and learn and are poised for continued growth in the years to come,” said Oren Rosenbaum, Head of UTA Audio. “Creating content that's not only child-friendly but also enjoyable for parents offers a special opportunity for families to spend quality time together."

The study, created by UTA IQ, the agency's research, analytics, and insights division, is based on a nationally representative survey of 5,000 U.S. parents whose 1,000 children ages three to 12 listen to and/or watch podcasts at least once a month.

Its findings show that unlike adults that tend to listen on headphones, kid listening is more social with children consuming a show with their parents at least half of the time. UTA says while kids ages three to five are the most likely to consume podcasts with a parent always or most of the time (53%), the percentage who enjoy podcasts with a parent at least half of the time is consistent across the full three to 12 age range.

“Clearly, co-listening to/co-watching podcasts is important to families, and it’s further encouraged when parents find podcasts that they can enjoy, too,” the report says.

The survey shows children listen or watch at home the most often, with the largest share of consumption happening on weekends and afternoons. They are most likely to enjoy podcasts for 11 to 20 minutes at a time.

In terms of what they are listening to, UTA says no one format dominates, with comedy, action/adventure, stories, education, and music/nursery rhymes yielding the most interest. And 93% of the parents surveyed say their children are more likely to listen if the podcast is based on a character or entertainment franchise their child already knows.

Their discovery journey is also similar to that of adults. Two-thirds (65%) of kid podcast fans and their parents discover shows based on recommendations from family and friends, while 58% get suggestions from social media. Who is finding shows? The survey says children and parents are equally likely to be the first to discover children’s podcasts.

Lots of parents look to limit their kid’s commercial exposure and among the parents surveyed, there was strong interest in subscriptions. Among those surveyed, 89% said they are at least interested in paying for a podcast plan. Income is a factor though, as among families who make less than $75,000 a year, it falls to 83%. The report says that although getting ad-free content is the top reason parents are interested in subscriptions, there is also very high interest in one that offers perks of bonus podcast content and early access to episodes.

The medium is also finding success in reaching kids with its video versions. UTA says YouTube is by far the most popular platform where kids consume podcasts, and it concludes they frequently watch episodes rather than just listen. It says 82% of children consume podcasts on YouTube, with the percentage who consume podcasts via YouTube consistent across the three to 12 age range, underscoring its importance.

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