The New Radio: 5 Podcasts That Have Millennials’ Ears

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To some, podcasts might not sound all that cool, but the “new radio” industry is booming and drawing in listeners in droves—including elusive Millennials. Last year, Apple announced that its customers had subscribed to more than a billion podcasts since 2005, and participating comedians and celebrities have helped to push a podcast renaissance. In one of our recent bi-weekly surveys of 1000 Millennials, we asked about podcasts and found that 35% of Millennials say they are listening to at least one, with 39% of males saying they listen. The fact that they can tune in when it suites them and tailor content to fit their schedules seems to be a huge draw for Millennial listeners, with one respondent telling us, “[I listen to podcasts because of the] customization. Only listen to what I want, when I want.” Niche content is also a major appeal, and Millennials are tuning in to a huge variety of podcasts to learn, be entertained, and often to indulge a very specific interest. Here are five of the most-mentioned podcasts in our panel’s responses: 

1. Welcome to Night Vale
This twice monthly podcast tells the unusual tales of Night Vale, a desert town where the supernatural is common, and mysterious glowing clouds, floating cats, hooded figures, and angels are all part of the citizens’ everyday lives. Each episode, which consists of “community updates” broadcast by Cecil Baldwin and a musical weather report, is an unusual mix of humor, romance, sci-fi, and horror. Fan art devoted to Night Vale is prolific, and the show has begun to stage live performances for their passionate fandom. 

2. Rooster Teeth
Started in 2008 under the name The Drunk Tank, the Rooster Teeth Podcast is an extension of Rooster Teeth Productions, the network behind…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

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Minecraft is being used to get kids interested in reading actual, real books. Litcraft recreates the world of a book as an interactive Minecraft map, adding “educational tasks” throughout. Treasure Island was the first completed world, followed by Kensuke's Kingdom, while The Lord of the Flies and Dante’s Inferno are in the works. Trials at U.K. schools are being met with “an enthusiastic response,” so Litcraft is eyeing a larger rollout. (The Guardian)

Nordstrom is stocking up on Instafamous brands like Allbirds, Everlane, and Reformation. The company announced that “strategic” brands account for about 40% of their current revenue and that’s expected to rise. While they benefit from indie brands’ popularity with young consumers, the direct-to-consumer brands are getting an expanded physical footprint, too. In the case of Reformation, Nordstrom explains that they “can bring sustainable fashion to a new (and much bigger) group of customers and closets.” (Business Insider)

A baseball team struck out with their “Millennial Night” promotion, putting Twitter in an uproar. We’ve warned brands that making fun of Millennials is not the way to get earn their spending power, and minor league baseball’s Montgomery Biscuits learned the lesson first-hand. Their “Millennial Night” offered participation ribbons, selfie stations, napping areas, and “lots of avocados,” while playing into stereotypes about Millennials being lazy. A Biscuits exec explains that “Something got lost in the sarcasm,” but instead of offering an apology, they doubled down with another cutting tweet. (AdweekInc.)

Nearly half of Millennials think that “their credit scores are holding them back.” OppLoans found that 27% of 18-34-year-olds haven’t been approved for a new car because of their credit while 25% have been declined for an apartment or house. Debt, a top financial concern for Millennials, is partly to blame: 15% said that their debt “is unmanageable.” Education could help dig them out of the hole, as 24% feel they’ve never learned how to build good credit. (Moneyish)

Baby Einstein is growing up for Millennial parents with a new mission and campaign. Their “Ignite a Curious Mind” effort goes after parents, not kids, with short spots that encourage curiosity. They’re also working on new toys, moving beyond their “sweet spot” of zero to 12 months for toddlers. Baby Einstein’s parent company, Kids II is also planning on reworking other brands, like Bright Starts and Ingenuity. (Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[American Eagle Outfitters’] clothes are generally what I wear and are my style. They're comfortable and affordable. They do not do a great deal of vanity sizing and offer something for guys and girls of every size.”—Female, 23, GA

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