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What do young people want from podcasts?

 Louise Kattenhorn, Commissioning Executive, BBC, UK, and Siobhan McMenemy, BBC, UK discussed what young people want from podcasts.   

Siobhan said that RAJAR tells us that 7 million adults a week now listen to podcasts. And that 3 million of those are 15-34 years old. She said that 17% of audio hours are now listened to on smartphones, as of Spring 2019. This provides a huge opportunity for podcasting in the market of young people.

The BBC’s research shows that young people listen to comedy podcasts particularly. Siobhan told the audience more about what makes 16-34 year olds laugh; from shared humour which diffuses tension, to laughing directly at others, and instantly, emotionally funny jokes to intellectually humorous work. 

Louise discussed a particular focus of the BBC’s on relatable humorous content – which is all about recognisable or observational moments that young people can relate to, with equally relatable and authentic characters. They avoid ‘staged’ or ‘forced’ content where possible – as well as cruel or humiliating humour. There’s editorial care and a lean towards gentler humour.