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    Podcast Week: Laura Henshaw asks Do I Want Kids?, McDonald’s leads podcast advertising

    Compiled by Jasper Baumann and Tess Connery 

    KICPOD’s Laura Henshaw asks: Do I want Kids? 

    It’s a question rarely posed in public: do I want kids? It’s also one that Laura Henshaw from LiSTNR podcast KICPOD is pondering.

    With insights from experts and people’s real stories, the podcast works to break through the misconception that having children is essential for a ‘successful’ life.

    Podcast Week’s Tess Connery caught up with Henshaw as the first episode launched. 

    “So many of my friends in are starting to have these conversations –  people that don’t know if they want to have children are feeling really isolated, and just not happy,” said Henshaw.

    “There’s also shame about not knowing, because living in a pro-natal society, most of the stories you hear are about people who have always innately wanted to have children. If you either don’t know or don’t want to have children, it can feel really isolating, but it is actually something that so many people feel.”

    Whilst the discussion was coming up time and time again, it was the fact that Henshaw and her husband Dalton Henshaw – the CEO of indie agency Bullfrog – are on their own personal journey with this decision that led to the podcast itself. 

    “I was looking for answers, trying to find conversations about people that were talking about how you make the decision, and also talking through all of these fears and questions that I had. I just couldn’t find it. I thought, I’m going to do this work anyway for myself, why don’t I make a podcast out of it?

    Podcast Week: Laura Henshaw asks Do I Want Kids?, McDonald’s leads podcast advertising

    Despite how personal the journey is, it’s also a question that has resonated with the KICPOD audience. As with everything Henshaw does, the listeners were front and centre in the process. 

    “We had an idea of how many episodes we wanted to do, and I went out to my audience and asked them. I wrote down my list of people I wanted to talk to and questions I wanted to ask. I had over 1,000 responses to that piece of content, and we went through every single one of them

    “I wanted to hear from people that weren’t 100% sure if they wanted children but then they had them and they love being a parent. People who were on the fence and decided not to have children. I wanted to speak to someone who was in later stages of their life and ask them, ‘are you lonely?’”

    The response to the series was immediate, with the first episode quickly becoming one of the most downloaded episodes on record for KICPOD. For Henshaw, the most important thing has been the “hundreds of messages from people saying ‘thank you so much, I just felt so isolated and so alone in this.’

    Some people genuinely felt like something was wrong with them, because they don’t innately feel like they want to have children. There are obviously so many things that are wrong with that, that society makes us feel that way. There’s nothing wrong with us if we want to or not want to have children.”

    That’s the key for Henshaw, who said that there was one major takeaway she hoped listeners of Do I Want Kids? were left with. 

    “I think the most important thing is knowing that if they don’t innately feel like they want children they aren’t alone, and there should be no shame in not knowing, or in not wanting children. Whatever they decide is completely okay. If they haven’t decided or looked at what they want, that is also completely okay.”

    [Listen to Do I Want Kids? here]

    McDonald’s leads podcast advertising in 2024

    ARN’s iHeart and Magellan AI have released the leading 15 brands advertising on Australian podcasts for the first quarter of 2024, with McDonald’s leading the charge and investing the most in the medium.

    The report also found that the majority of podcast genres continue to see an uplift in investment, with the largest increases in the categories of comedy, health and fitness, and science year-on-year.

    Corey Layton, ARN’s head of digital audio, said: “Podcast advertising continues to thrive with a huge breadth of brands seen across the Australian industry in Q1, 2024. Given the depth of content, measurement and proven conversion, podcasts are no longer an experimental part of the marketing mix.”

    The Top Advertisers report uses artificial intelligence to analyse thousands of episodes from 400+ of Australia’s most popular podcasts, determining the top brands advertising in the medium.

    Spotify launches its first Global Podcast Trends Tour

    The Trends Tour is an interactive exploration of the latest trends in podcasting. It showcases fresh insights about how people are engaging with podcasts.

    Spotify has found that 63% of people said they trust their favourite podcast host more than their favourite social media influencer. They also found that globally, average daily streams of video podcasts are up 39% on Spotify.

    Trending Categories in Spotify podcasts in Australia:

    • Most popular categories: comedy, health and fitness, society and culture, true crime, sports
    • Fastest-growing categories: religion and spirituality (75.2%), business and technology (70.7%), society and culture (60.5%), science (60%)
    • Australia is the only country among those analysed that has science in its fastest-growing categories.

    62% of study respondents took action after hearing an ad during a podcast show, like searching for the product, purchasing the product, or simply talking about it.

    Spotify AU/NZ Podcast account director, Sam Moles, said: “Podcasts continue to be one of the best ways for brands to reach audiences, mixing scale with high trust scores.

    “Our first Global Podcast Trends tour breaks down how Spotify’s uniquely engaged audience – reaching over half of all podcast listeners in Australia – generates conversion rates above industry benchmarks.

    “This provides brands with a window in which to align themselves with culture and ‘Podfluencers’, who are now more trusted than social media influencers by 63% of people globally.

    “Significantly, our latest report also shows that podcast listeners are becoming podcast watchers on Spotify. Podcasts with video episodes have seen a +39% increase in average daily streams, and Gen Z are 18% more likely to engage with video podcasts. Ultimately, podcast ads have grown in popularity and become a proven, effective format to drive business results.”

    Whatever happened to Josh Szeps? He’s doing very nicely, thank you

    Josh Szeps surprised his Sydney ABC Radio audience in November last year when he quit live on air. “I’m an ABC presenter but I don’t like kale,” was one of his memorable lines at the time.

    In explaining he didn’t feel comfortable continuing at the broadcaster, he added: “I’m a misfit. I’m a child of refugees, but I’m a white Australian. I’m a gay guy, but I hate Mardi Gras. I have holocaust surviving grandparents but I’m conflicted about Zionism.

    “I am a riddle wrapped in a bloody enigma. If you think that being a team player is the highest virtue, good for you. But don’t pretend to be a journalist. Journalism needs more contrarians, not fewer. More risk takers, not fewer.”

    As Szeps announced his departure, he also mentioned his then-new side hustle.

    He indicated his Uncomfortable Conversations business was already performing well financially.

    His Substack homepage now indicates he has 19,000+ subscribers. Some of them are not paying, but others are on deals costing either $110 annually, or $375 for the “Hero of Sanity” package.

    The numbers spiked after Szeps left the ABC and are growing at close to 40% monthly. He attributes part of that growth to friends in the US who have Szeps as a podcast guest.

    In 2022, Szeps was a memorable guest on Joe Rogan. There was an argument about vaccinations that many people heard. More recently, Szeps co-hosted the Sam Harris podcast Making Sense twice in the past couple of months.

    He’s also been a guest on other established shows – Chris Williamson’s podcast, Modern Wisdom, and TRIGGERnometry, a British YouTube show and podcast.

    [Read More]

    Podcast Week: DO I WANT KIDS

    The post Podcast Week: Laura Henshaw asks Do I Want Kids?, McDonald’s leads podcast advertising appeared first on Mediaweek.

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