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

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

Magazine covers aren’t dying in the age of digital—even when publications go out of print. Digital-only covers are “captur[ing] the print magazine's tangible essence” while building hype for media brands on social media (especially Instagram). PorterComplexNylonGQ and more publications have taken on the trend, featuring celebrities like Chance the Rapper to Sophie Turner. For magazines looking for a comeback with young consumers, digital-only covers can “translate their own brand for the web." (Fashionista)

Following “a series of scandals,” YouTube is taking major steps to overhaul its video review process and ad placement policies. The new guidelines “kick tens of thousands of video makers out” of the ad program by requiring anyone who generates ad revenue to produce 4,000 hours of content and gain 1,000 subscribers in one year, upping the ante from the previous requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. YouTube is also promising to manually review every video in its top tier of advertising (Google Preferred), and they’ve hired 10,000 new employees in the last year to get the job done. (recode)

Some Millennial parents are applying their minimalist tendencies to their kids’ toy chests to battle play clutter with “toy limitation.” It’s not a new concept—some schools of thought that have “advocate[d] simple, open-ended toys” include Montessori, Waldorf, and RIE—and today’s advocates say limiting toys can improve focus and happiness. A report from the University of Toledo concluded that toddlers “played ‘better’” when given fewer toys, meaning they played with each toy for longer and in more creative ways. However, some parents worry that they’re “denying [their children’s] self-expression” when they limit toys, and so the debate continues. (Slate)

Tostitos is giving fans their very own personalized Super Bowl ads to invite friends to their game parties. The platform takes a user's name, address, and other invite info and spins it into a video perfect for Customization Nation. Each ad features a different combination of Super Bowl clichés, including a “talking baby, puppies, sassy older women, [and] a celebrity pitchman.” Considering Ypulse data shows 64% of 13-34-year-olds watched some or all of the 2017 Super Bowl with friends and family, it’s a safe bet at least some will be sending out invites, possibly with some Tostitos product placement this year. (Adweek)

Facebook’s new feature lets Groups co-view each other’s content. “Watch Party” allows Group admins to show any Facebook video to members simultaneously, and to comment on a “dedicated reel” for a “shared viewing experience.” The feature is another step towards the platform’s new goal to “encourage meaningful social interactions,” and their new focus on Groups. The push for social viewing could possibly be integrated into other aspects of Facebook and its properties, like group chats. (TechCrunch)

“I plan to go to a free barre class at a local studio that is offering them as part of a New Year's promotion.”—Female, 33, MA

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