If Gen Z and Gen Alpha aren’t a priority in your advertising strategy, you’ve got some catching up to do. And with 98% of Gen Z listening to audio daily, now is a great time to start.  

Luckily, new research provides key insights into what you need to know about these emerging generations and how you can leverage audio to reach them. 

Defining the Generations

The team at McCrindle specializes in research and analysis, and provided in-depth insights on Gen Z and Gen Alpha in a 2023 study. Here are our key takeaways.

Generations have typically been placed 20 years apart but are now closer to a 15-year span. This is a result of parents having children later in life while new technologies, evolving careers, and societal values change rapidly.

Gen Z: Born 1995-2009 

This generation describes themselves as independent, determined, and creative. Their global perspective, digital fluency, and ability to connect with like-minded individuals have empowered them to recognize their voice and engage in social activism.

Already comprising 27% of the current global workforce, Gen Z values authenticity, clear communication, and empathy. This means as they increase their wealth and purchasing power, socially responsible products will likely grow in importance.

Their parents involve them in decision-making processes and consider their input on purchases and travel destinations.

This generation is more likely to: 

  • Take big risks in pursuit of big rewards.
  • Prioritize the here and now. 
  • View success as financial freedom (as opposed to freedom of time). 
  • Be self-employed or have a side hustle—“Intrapreneurs” (between an employee and entrepreneur). 
  • Need a compelling reason to stay and/or buy (partnership, job, brand, etc.).

Gen Alpha: Born 2010-2024

Projected to become the largest generation in history, they already have considerable brand influence and buying power. Their size, technological savvy, and consumer behaviors make them a force to be reckoned with as future consumers and employees.

While Gen Alpha is still relatively young, they influence almost 80% of their Gen X and Millenial parents’ buying decisions. (Yes, you read that right—80%!)

Within the next 5 years, Gen Alpha’s economic footprint will reach more than $5.46 trillion. This generation is the most: 

  • Globally connected. 
  • Formally educated. 
  • Materially endowed. 
  • Technologically supplied. 
  • Influential.

Gen Z and Gen Alpha Have a Lot in Common

Their fears:

  • They won’t have enough money to live comfortably.
  • Not reaching their full potential.
  • Being stuck in an unfulfilling job.
  • Suffering a long-term illness.

Their hopes:

  • Financial freedom. 
  • Own their own home.
  • Travel and see the world. 
  • Spend more time with loved ones. 

Their consumer trends:

  • Tech-savvy.
  • Prioritize ethical standards. 
  • Use purchases to communicate their values.
  • Quality, price, and reputation are more important to older generations.
  • View success as “financial freedom” as opposed to the previously held view of success, “freedom of time.”

Gen Z and Gen Alpha Love Podcasts 

According to Edison Research, listeners in these generations are steadily increasing. 

As reported in their 2023 Gen Z Podcast Listener Report:

  • Gen Z listeners have grown by 46% since 2018.
  • 75% have listened to a podcast in the last week. 
  • 84% listen to or watch podcasts with a video component.

According to their 2023 Kids Podcast Listener Report on kids aged 6-12 (Gen Alpha):

  • 63% are aware of podcasts.
  • 46% have listened to a podcast.
  • 23% have listened to a podcast in the last week.

Gen Z Is Fueling the Growth of Podcasts 

Not only is Gen Z already listening to podcasts, they’re fueling podcast growth exponentially. Spotify’s 2023 Culture Next Report reveals it’s because Gen Z craves:

  • Dependable education that disrupts how, what, and where they learn.
    75% of Gen Z’s in the US say podcasts teach them about topics they wish they’d learned about in school.
  • Diverse perspectives that have a space to debate.
    3 in 5 Gen Z’s in the US believe podcasting is more trustworthy than other forms of media because it’s representative of more diverse voices and points of view. 
  • Deeper conversations that go beyond the superficial surface of social media.
    72% of Gen Z’s in the US agree that podcasts take you deeper into topics.

Spotify’s report goes on to share that in the first half of 2023, Gen Z podcast streams increased by 48%. As their growth continues to accelerate, it’s clear that podcasts remain an unmatched medium that’s essential to your advertising strategy. 

Is Video Necessary for Podcasts?

Based on generational data, yes. According to findings from an August 2023 research study, presented by Coleman Insights Media Research and Amplifi Media

  • 75% of podcast consumers define a podcast as audio or video. 
  • 60% of podcast consumers prefer to use YouTube for podcasts. 
  • 52% of podcast consumers discover podcasts on YouTube.

Between the changing perceptions and behavior of podcast consumers, and the younger generations influencing 80% of their parents’ purchasing decisions, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” 

Gen Z already makes up 27% of the workforce with access to disposable income. Meanwhile, the first of Gen Alpha will be entering the workforce within the next two years. So, the necessity of using video to reach these younger generations isn’t surprising because video incorporated in any form of media helps: 

  • Increase discoverability.
  • Build connection and trust. 
  • Cultivate community. 
  • Stimulate engagement. 
  • Hook listeners. 
  • Expand storytelling.

What is surprising are the brands that aren’t harnessing the power and possibilities of video with their podcast partners.  

6 Ways Brands Can Reach Younger Vodcast Generations

It’s one thing to know video is necessary for podcasts and another to leverage video in your brand’s marketing strategy effectively. 

Here are six simple ways to start:

  • Give hosts visual prompts in ad reads 
    Whether you’re marketing a product or a service you can capture Its awesomeness on video. Products are easy to open and use but showcasing services forces you to think outside the box. From simple website tours to capturing rave reviews, video increases audience engagement.

  • Provide brand education as video content.
    Gen Z is loyal to brands they trust and video provides a unique opportunity to build that connection. Be straight with them, confront skepticism head-on, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Sponsor engaging video segments.
    Go beyond standard talking points and create entertaining segments that invite hosts, guests, and audiences to get in on the action. Spark playful nostalgia with a Madlib or create a round of “Would You Rather” related to your brand. The segment doesn’t have to be a game but it should be fun.
  • Collaborate with smaller creators.
    Video can catapult creators from obscurity to household names fast. Their audience may start small but their fierce loyalty cultivates an engaged community. These devoted stans often celebrate when they hear ads because they feel part of that creator’s success. Brands that sponsor creators early on have a unique opportunity to build a loyal following of their own.
  • Encourage unscripted moments.
    There’s a reason bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage are so popular. They’re fun, authentic, and provide deeper insight into something you’re interested in. Unscripted moments often become the real story—especially when you can see the action, not just hear it. Help cultivate these experiences by providing prompts that connect with younger generations authentically instead of scripted ad reads that get skipped.
  • Partner with experts.
    Ad Results Media is the world’s leading VODcast marketing agency. We work directly with video creators and podcasters to produce and plan innovative video podcast endorsements that are organically woven into the fabric of the content by the creator themselves. This increases your reach and gets results faster than podcasting alone. 

Next Steps

These key insights emphasize how crucial it is for brands to understand the emerging generations to more strategically reach their target demographic, and craft campaigns that resonate with them. 

The size, knowledge, and influence of Gen Z and Gen Alpha means their purchasing power is robust, significant, and accelerating. But just putting your brand in front of them isn’t enough. You need the help of trusted experts who know how to efficiently and effectively reach these influential generations. 

Ad Results Media pioneered podcast advertising and specializes in harnessing the power of creator-based audio and video platforms. See what they can do to help you leverage these key insights and integrate a more effective advertising strategy.