PBS Kids expands podcast slate with new shows

The Arthur Podcast returns with new season in November

Children’s cable channel PBS Kids is expanding its portfolio of podcasts with a number of new and returning shows, the brand has announced. 

New titles that will be added to the slate include a music podcast titled Jamming On The Job, premiering 14 September. The podcast follows Latin Grammy Award-winning kids music duo Christina Sanabria and Andrés Salguero on their US tour as they meet  grownups telling them about their jobs, which they then use to create a new song with their music-making machine BoomBox, voiced by musician Pierce Freelon. 

The podcast is produced by PBS North Carolina, in partnership with non-profit organisation PRX, and is developed as part of PRX’s Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator program, which aims to produce content that helps kids develop the skills they need to succeed in life and school. Other podcasts previously launched as part of the program include Page Flippers Take on the World from the Brooklyn Public Library, and fiction show Keyshawn Solves It

“We’re so excited to introduce kids to fresh, fun podcasts that we hope will get the whole family listening, learning, and enjoying these audio adventures together,” said PBS Kids senior vice president and general manager Sara DeWitt. “In addition to inviting them to ‘rock out’ with new friends while they learn, these podcasts will give kids opportunities to further connect with characters from some of their favourite shows in unique, new ways.”

PBS Kids will also be launching an interactive playdate podcast starring the kids of its hit series Work it Out Wombats! - Malik, Zadie, and Zek. The podcast, which is launching 4 January 2024, is titled Playdate With The Wombats! and is aimed at kids aged 3-6 with questions encouraging them to count, sing, dance, and use their imaginations by copying the patterns of the hosts. The podcast is produced by kids TV station GBH Kids and Cultural Whisperers. 

Kids between the ages of 6-12 are highly engaged with podcasts, according to a report by Edison Research, with 29% of respondents being monthly listeners and 25% of monthly listeners tuning in to podcasts on a daily basis. They’re both fun and easy to listen to because of their passive nature but they can also be used as an educational tool, with 87% having said they have learned something new from listening to a podcast. 

Both Jamming on The Job and Playdate With The Wombats! are funded through a Ready To Learn grant provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting under the US government department.

In addition to the new series, The Arthur Podcast - a companion show to the iconic 90s animated series - will return for its third season on 9 November, following the success of the first two seasons with over one million downloads. The podcast is also produced by GBH Kids and production company Gen Z media, and distributed in partnership with PRX. 

More podcasts are expected to roll out in 2024 as part of the new PBS Kids slate and will all be available on the PBS KIDS Video App and across all major podcast platforms.