Because podcasts for children are becoming more and more popular

Because podcasts for children are becoming more and more popular

Quickly becoming a common pastime for adults, podcasts are now adapting more and more to a younger audience. Podcasts for children have seen an increase in audience figures in the United States and are becoming known in Italy as well. Useful for stimulating the imagination, relaxing and educational, these contents help to entertain the little ones and - particularly not to be overlooked - do not force them in front of a screen. The author of a children's podcast told us the details of this novelty, revealing what to expect from the boom in audio products for the very young.

Fantasy in power According to the US magazine The Hollywood Reporter, podcasts in the children and families category have seen a 20% increase in listeners since 2019. Many moms and dads have turned to podcasts for very young people in order to remove children from television and computers: during the pandemic, in fact, screen-time, that is the time spent in front of a screen, increased significantly in every age group due to lockdowns and the impossibility of social gatherings at open. Audio content is a fun product that does not require you to be in front of a monitor and this has favored its diffusion even among an audience of children. The most well-known platforms did not stand by after noticing the growing demand: Spotify in the United States launched the CoComelon and Arthur programs designed for the 2 -5 age group. Amazon has reached an agreement with production company Wondery to create audio shows dedicated to pre-teens. Netflix and Sony Pictures Animation adapted the Vivo cartoon in The Vivo Songbook podcast. "People weren't thinking about audio content for children," said producer Meredith Halpern-Ranzer. "Instead today the market has absolutely exploded and many companies are taking an interest, seeing this as a white space that has much more potential".

Italian podcasts for children With the global podcast market expected to reach 2 billions of dollars in advertising in 2023, the Italian creators have decided to take the field. In the rankings of the major players, among the podcasts for children, the programs dedicated to historical fairy tales and the most famous stories stand out. But the original content is on the launch pad: this is the case with the Fantastic Stories of Mr. Rockteller program. Conceived by Mimmi Maselli and Alessio Albano, the podcast is dedicated to rock music and the great artists of this genre, told and explained to a very young audience. “I am a deejay and music consultant, and I have been a huge fan of rock music from an early age. Since I was a parent, I have tried to imagine an original way to bring children closer to rock music, the one that adults listen to and has no place in the classic baby dance playlists - explains Maselli -. We thought of a podcast for families, an original format to tell and discover the songs and musicians who have made the history of rock to an audience of children. Using the stories evoked by the texts and some curious anecdotes in the biographies of the musicians as a narrative pretext, we invented a series of new fairy tales, drawing fantastic and very musical landscapes, and thus building a territory of encounter between parents and children, offering them moments of interaction. unexpected and very engaging ". The success of the first season has already led to the construction of a new series of episodes: "The response from the public has been incredible, the affection that the children have shown for the character of Rockteller (the narrator of each story) has very impressed and we were surprised how much the fairy tales are actually listened to by the whole family and not just by the little ones. "During the first lockdown, the podcast reached the Top 15 of the Italian general ranking of Apple Podcasts. On the same platform Le Storie Fantastici by Mr. Rockteller was consistently high on the Kids & Family Chart, both as a program and in the individual episode chart.

Cover of the children's podcast Mr. Rockteller's Fantastic Stories

sections of audio, video or text, content designed for an audience of children must respond to different rules than products for adults. "Writing for children does not imply having to r strength to be simple and banal, indeed it allows you to be much freer and to dare with language and fantastic narration: children have much more imagination than adults, who instead have more rigid and sedimented mental and cultural patterns. Rockteller's stories are in fact often complex and articulated, they always have an important final message, but they are adventurous, fun and engaging, also thanks to the use of surprising sounds and a compelling soundtrack that keeps the listener's attention alive " . The podcast was produced independently and is now present on all the most used platforms. “Today it is possible to create a format independently and be able to make it available on the platforms without problems. Not having the support of a publisher means that you are less covered in terms of promotion, but our podcast has been organically successful thanks to word of mouth among families. We also believe it is important to restore importance to the value of listening, re-evaluating the sense of hearing: today, thanks to the podcast, the hegemony of video can be undermined in the use of content for children "concludes Maselli. Speakers on or (mini) headphones on the ears: after the boom of recent years, podcasts find a new interested audience in children, managing to the delight of parents to keep them away from the ubiquitous TV, computer and smartphone screens.

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