Gen Z and Podcasting - What are young people listening to?




I was just on a call with one of our clients, The Federal Reserve Bank, and they were asking me if I knew much about Gen Z and podcasting. Since I have been teaching college freshman podcasting for 9 years, I know quite a bit of anecdotal information like:


  • When I started teaching podcasting 9 years ago about 60% of students listened to radio and 10% podcasts. Today that number is 100% podcasts and less than 10% radio.

  • They talk about podcasts like my generation talks about TV Shows.

  • The podcasts they listen to impress me often with a lot of young adults listening to shows like “This American Life” (When I told one student that it was a radio show, they were shocked.)


Anecdotal stories aside there have been some great studies about Gen Z and podcasts including one for YPulse who specialize in this generation. Here’s what they found.


  • 25-34-year-olds drove a 60% rise in the number of people listening to podcasts via mobile apps when compared to January 2018

  • Over a third (37%) of 13-37-year-olds saying they listen weekly or more.

  • Millennials are more likely than Gen Z to be listening regularly, with 41% of 19-37-year-olds saying they listen weekly or more, compared to 25% of 13-18-year-olds.

  • 51% of 21-24-year-olds report listening weekly or more making them the most active.

So what are all these Gen Z folks listening to?


  • 41% of 13-37-year-old podcast listeners saying they listen to Comedy

  • 33% say Music is their favorite.

  • 31% say that Interviews are their top pick.


A couple of other things to note are that 46% of 13-35-year-olds say they don’t mind brands advertising on their podcasts and a whopping 25% say that they pay for podcasts each month. The bottom line is that if you are a brand and you want to reach Gen Z, Podcasting is a safe and cost-effective way to do it.


I have to add, that The Federal Reserve is doing amazing things in podcasting. Check out one of the shows we have gotten to work on with them, Zip Code Economies.




Matty is the former Director of Content at Stitcher, Radio's first VP of Podcast Programming with iHeartRadio, and is now the President of Jam Street Media in Los Angeles helping brands and entertainers make awesome podcasts. www.JamStreetMedia.com

@MattyStaudt on social media, and by email Matty@jamstreetmedia.com.


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