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

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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