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

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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