Are Gen Z listeners of podcasts?

With the podcasting industry becoming more popular and diverse among listeners, today’s young generation is no stranger to the series of spoken word, audio episodes. Podcasting has been growing in popularity for years now, reports show, and the increase of young listeners heating up. 

Gen Z’s influence is reaching all aspects of today’s social life. Pop culture is currently being shaped by these people’s preferences, aesthetics, hobbies, and purchasing habits, and this trend will only continue for years to come.

YPulse’s TV and Entertainment behavioral report found that 64% of 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe listen to podcasts. Many reports show that the U.S. podcast market is bigger, and the industry is gaining many young listeners in Western Europe. 64% of Europeans told YPulse’s research team that they listen to podcasts at least sometimes and 29% that they listen weekly or more often. The boost that podcast listening has received globally both during and after the pandemic was big and even bigger in Europe. While global podcast listens increased by 42%, according to Voxnest, European listens went up by 53%.

Podcasts have a significant impact on people’s lives, whether they are just listeners or makers. In this secure atmosphere, they feel supported and heard. Podcasts provide listeners with subjects and perspectives to explore and discuss and they can communicate genuinely with a group of like-minded people as makers. Being a listener, podcasts provide them with information and viewpoints to discuss, as well as allow creators to talk truthfully to a group of like-minded people.

Why is Gen Z so attracted to podcasts nowadays? The reasons for choosing to listen to them are different from individual to individual. Some people listen for entertainment, to connect to the waves of emotion, to find new information, to keep up with the news in the world and pop culture, or just as a background sound.

Podcasts offer some things other formats maybe can’t, the level of intimacy and personal connection seems to be more present. Often the feature of the host talking directly to the listener creates a connection and a closeness. Additionally, they can be consumed on the go, with the post-millennials being a mobile generation, that’s a plus for many people.

Inclusivity and representation are very important for the younger generation, so having the opportunity to find different stories and voices that we can relate to is a key factor in choosing this streaming format.

The pandemic has also played a huge part in the increasing popularity of podcasts. Being stuck at home and experiencing the lockdown as something like never before left everyone feeling lonely, isolated, and craving some human interaction. 

This was a crucial thing because the pandemic left many queer people without their regular support system, like gay clubs, and bars being shut down, the podcasts succeeded to manage that feeling of emptiness.

What kind of podcasts is Gen Z listening to? Various types. The top genre among Gen Z is comedy, especially when hosted by their favorite celebrities or influencer, followed by podcasts about music, celebrities, games, tv shows/movies, storytelling, and many more.  Popular topics include coming out stories, discussions about gender and sexuality, and advice on navigating the LGBT community. Additionally, some podcasts focus on LGBT history and culture, as well as those that discuss current events related to the LGBT community. True crime is also a long-time favorite for young listeners.

Some of their favorite podcasts include:

‘Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain’

Emma Chamberlain has gained a very large following among Gen Z because of her very relatable content. Her episodes are usually unscripted and naturally conversations about everyday subjects and topics, and that resonates with young listeners.

‘I Weigh with Jameela Jamil’

We may remember Jameela Jamil from the sitcom The Good Place, where she portrayed Tahani. This community is trying to create a safe and radically inclusive space in social media. You’ll discover fresh perspectives, artists, activists, and movements thanks to the I Weigh Community. These are the folks the team thinks we should pay attention to. 

‘Dear Hank and John’

Dear Hank and John is a podcast hosted by the Green brothers: musician author Hank Green, and young-adult novelist John Green. A comedic podcast where the brothers offer both humorous and heartfelt advice about life’s big and small questions.

‘Gayish’

Gayish is a podcast about gay stereotypes in which the hosts, Mike Johnson and Kyle Getz talk about a different one in every episode. They bring with their humor, honesty, and sauciness topics like the hanky code, depression, open relationships, and many more.

‘The Read’

Crissle West and Kid Fury, two of the funniest LGBT+ individuals alive, headline The Read.

The show’s official subject matter is pop culture and the tangled lives of those who make it. Unofficially, it also functions as an on-air therapy session for two friends who are attempting to mature, particularly in light of their rising celebrity.

 

Article by Ciprian Ciobanu

Ciprian Ciobanu is Gen Z Editor for GAY45 and an MA student at the University of Timisoara, majoring in painting but working in a mixed media field. Ciprian is currently in Timișoara finishing his studies and working on the process of developing and reflecting on the relationship between art and the trends of a given time from music, fashion, popular stories, etc.

 

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