Nearly 90% of parents are willing to pay for podcast subscriptions

Ad-free listening is a key incentive, according to UTA study

Almost 90% of parents are willing to pay for podcast subscriptions to get ad-free content for their kids, according to a new study by talent agency UTA. 

The UTA IQ consumer study looked at the podcast listening and watching habits of children in the US. The data was derived from a screener conducted with 5,000 parents and a survey with 1,000 parents who have kids aged three to 12 in the US, which took place from 31 August to 6 September. 

According to the report, nine in 10 parents with children who are monthly podcast consumers are willing to spend money on subscriptions for kids and family podcasts. Respondents said the main reason is to get ad-free listening (71%) although there is still a high interest amongst parents for other subscription incentives such as bonus podcast content and early access to new episodes (over 60%). 

A number of kids' podcast networks have subscription offerings, including Tinkercast and Starglow Media, both of which are represented by UTA, and others like podcast networks Fun Kids and Pinna. 

“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 UTA partner and head of UTA Audio Oren Rosenbaum. “Creating content that's not only child-friendly but also enjoyable for parents offers a special opportunity for families to spend quality time together.”

“We're dedicated to expanding the range and quality of choices for both children and their parents in this exciting space."

Kids podcasts can also be a growth opportunity for advertisers when it comes to reaching parents who are not paying for podcast subscriptions. According to the report, at least 50% of parents are consuming kids' podcasts with their children at least half the time.

Anthony Frasier, CEO of kids and family podcast network ABF Creative, previously told PodPod that it is important for advertisers who want to invest in this space to remember that the number of listeners and downloads on kids' podcasts don’t necessarily reflect the people listening to the room. 

“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.”

Other highlights from the UTA report show that kids and family podcasts continue to have a strong demand amongst children in the US, with nearly half listening at least weekly. The majority of kids and parents discover new podcasts within that space through word of mouth and social media, although 39% also discover them through awareness of an existing IP. Over 90% of the parents in the study also said that their kids would be more likely to consume a podcast if it’s based on an existing character that they’re a fan of. 

The majority of kids are also more likely to be watching video podcasts than listening to audio, as 82% use YouTube as their preferred podcast platform. Spotify, which also offers video podcasts on the platform, is the second most popular platform amongst kids, with 55% using it to consume podcasts. To continue meeting kids’ demands for podcast content, creators should look at keeping the podcast’s length between 11 to 20 minutes and explore a variety of topics including comedy, adventure, and education.