Did we do the happy dance when we saw we were on the New York Times “30 Best Podcast” for kids list? Oh, yes we did. For about five hours!
As the article states, “There has been an explosion of new shows for children in the past year.” This is partly because podcasts are having a moment (about time), but mostly because of the pandemic.
Explosion of creators and listeners
Being stuck at home meant a lot of people, like Leela and I, needed a project. Enter: Newsy Jacuzzi! We weren’t alone. From factual shows, like ours, to loads of storytelling podcasts – the market has exploded and there is more for kids to listen to than ever before. Hooray!
The pandemic has also meant there are more listeners than ever before too – kids that have too much time on their hands and parents keen to find something screen-free to help fill their kids’ thirsty minds.
That’s our story too. Leela isn’t just a podcast creator but a big consumer too. She was an occasional listener before, but now, wowzers! I can’t tell you how many podcasts she’s listened to in the last one year – most several times, too. And when my work has meant I needed her well and truly (and safely) occupied, podcasts were a godsend.
According to the NYT article, “The main appeal of podcasts for kids is the same as it is for adults — they’re fun and interesting to listen to. But according to Monica Brady-Myerov, founder and chief executive of Listenwise, an educational website that helps students build listening skills, there may also be a hidden educational benefit.”
So in this exploding market of providers we are more than tickled pink to be on the list of the 30 best!
Recommendations matter more than lists
OK, OK, we know being on a “best of” list isn’t how most kids find out about podcasts. We have read the wonderful and extensive survey from the Kids Listen network that indicates recommendations – from friends and other parents – is the number one way to get new listeners. (So please, please do the needful, as they say here in India, and get to recommending Newsy Jacuzzi!) Every week when we get more downloads our gratification is deep, deep, deep.
But we confess, being on a prestigious list, like the NYT best podcasts for kids list, is a wonderful bonus for our humble little podcast.
You see, I may be an experienced journalist with a love for audio and Leela might be bubbling with enthusiasm about the wacky stories we cover each week – but it’s just the two of us producing this podcast each and every week. We don’t end each episode with a roll-call of producers, assistants and sound engineers, because we don’t have them. We have a team of kid correspondents, but they are guided and edited by me (and quite often their parents too!). We are as indie and grassroots as they come. And that’s the fun of it!