by Debbie West
I’ve been keeping an eye on podcast surveys and listener statistics for a number of years. There’s been a clear pattern of difference across the generations during this time, with younger age groups consistently reporting more interest in podcasts. This has always struck me as a trend that will influence workplace communication, as those younger generations fill the roles in organisations of all sizes.
I was interested to see the ‘Growing up with Podcasts’ report, published this month by SXM Media with Edison Research’s Infinite Dial, with a focus on the way in which Gen Z engages with podcasts.
The research is based on an interview sample of 1000 Americans aged 13 to 24. It shows that nearly half that age group have listened to a podcast in the last month, an impressive increase of 57% in the last five years.
What’s particularly encouraging about this report is the fact Gen Z are turning to podcasts for more than entertainment. It’s true the top genres are listed as Comedy; Entertainment/Celebrity and True Crime, but in terms of format, over 90% of Gen Z listeners want to hear real life stories, interviews with different guests, banter or back and forth conversations.
I think this demonstrates something we’ve long been claiming as the power of podcasts – they provide an effective source of human connection. This makes them a great platform to share stories and first-hand experience. It’s also part of the reason why podcasts enjoy high rates of engagement.
It’s a lower proportion, but almost six in ten Gen Z podcast listeners say it’s important that podcasts provide them with good tips and advice. As the report points out,
“Gen Z is turning to podcasts for more than just simple entertainment—they’re looking for fresh perspectives and conversations about topics that are important to them, and ideally shows that can also provide them with utility and guidance.”
Recent reports on the impact of disengagement at work, such as the data shared by Gallup in their State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, coupled with the reluctance of employees to return to the workplace, are highlighting challenges for organisations and particularly for communicators.
While one channel can’t possibly be a magic cure for these broader issues, the ‘Growing up with Podcasts’ report suggests that younger employees are more likely to tune into podcast content to find a blend of connection and utility. It might be a good time to consider how an employee podcast or can help with your workplace communications or culture change challenges.
The talented team at Audere have been creating high-quality podcast content for years and have past success of making great content for internal communications.