Children’s podcasting presents big growth opportunity, study shows

70% of parents feel need for more kids audio content, according to ABF Creative

The children’s audio space is a huge opportunity for growth in podcasting, according to a new study, with more parents seeking content made for kids. 

Kids and family podcast network ABF Creative published its Sounds of Self Esteem study today, looking at how music and audio content affects the development and mental health of children aged 4-11. The data is derived from a survey conducted with 1,014 parents with children in that age group. 

Although the study showed that music and audiobooks continue to be children’s preferred audio content, there is an opportunity for growth within podcasting as kids that do consume podcasts are highly engaged, listening at least once a week. Kids’ behaviours can also be influenced by the type of audio content they’re consuming, with over 59% of parents seeing improvements in their children’s social interactions and academic performance after listening to podcasts.

“Kids are a lot more receptive to appreciating educational material, because it doesn't necessarily come across as the traditional educational material that we grew up with,” ABF Creative CEO Anthony Frasier told PodPod. “I think you can, as podcast audio creators, continue to implement educational things into your podcast - but you just have to make sure it's really palatable and it's entertaining.”

Frasier told PodPod that although ABF Creative’s daily affirmations podcast Charm Words was initially aimed at raising the self-esteem of children of colour, it ended up bringing in listeners from all types of backgrounds, with teachers using it in classrooms, mothers playing the podcast on the way to dropping their kids off at school, and families making it part of their routine. 

Parents can have a significant influence on the type of audio kids are consuming, as the study shows, with the majority of respondents’ audio content preferences reflecting their children’s. However, 70% feel that there should be more audio content aimed at improving children’s self-esteem and mental health, and 67% of parents intentionally choose audio content for their kids that reflects this.

To combat this, over 60% of parents said that they would be willing to implement a structured audio program to improve their children’s self-esteem, and would be willing to listen to this content 3-4 times a week. Short, more focused content works better overall, with 28% preferring content that is 5-10 minutes long. 

“I think a lot of people overlook the fact, when they’re making children's content, that the parent is the largest influence in the house,” said Frasier. “Sometimes we make content directly for kids, without really understanding that the parent has to be that curator in the home.” 

For advertisers that are looking to invest in the kids' podcasting space, Frasier said that it’s important to note that the numbers on podcasts don’t necessarily reflect the people listening to the room, as it’s more likely that children’s podcasts are being co-listened to by the parents and more than one child. 

“If a podcast is averaging 100,000 downloads a month, that number could really be 200,000 to 300,000 - but the numbers are not going to show that in your dashboard, simply because co-listening is not necessarily being recognised or acknowledged yet,” said Frasier. 

“We're hoping more and more that co-listening becomes a factor when advertisers are looking to advertise on kids’ content and kids' podcasts.”