Go on the Castbox app and in the search bar start typing in ‘Story Time’ and even go so far as to add the word ‘with.’ You’ll start to see several results come up, but when you complete your entry by adding ‘Emma,’ you’ll land on a show done by Emma Criddle who just turned ten years old in December. But she’s not new to the medium. Her podcast started four years ago – at age 6!
As a result, “Story Time with Emma” has more than 650 episodes as a new installment is released every weekday.
Back in 2016 she started recording audio for kids in Tanzania who could only listen to audio online due to limited 2G and 3G internet access. The kids wanted books for Christmas, so she delivered them stories. It eventually turned into a podcast.
Reading children’s books for kids and families to listen to, nowadays she records at home with a cellphone – although quite a few recordings have been submitted by fans – and episodes are often times a hearty 25 minutes in length!
Emma’s father, Jason, says, “She just loves reading. Even if she wasn’t recording, she would still be reading every day, so, may as well keep recording.”
Although Emma is not monetizing her podcast, don’t confuse that with there not being an entrepreneurial eye. Emma wants to be a famous singer and actor someday, so the feeling is that building her brand early helps with that vision. In fact, she goes into schools and libraries to teach children how they can use free resources to begin building their own brands.
Speaking of school, ask most kids what they dislike about going there and they’ll probably say ‘homework.’ Emma doesn’t mind doing a different type of work at home, though. She gets help from her family, and, her father says, “She loves how easily she can use the platform. She is apprehensive about getting used to a new app or software, since this was her first one.”
As for the other kids at school, though? “All of her friends get involved as much as they can with the activities and organization she has put together for kids,” Jason Criddle says.
Of course, podcasting also enables show hosts to meet some people that they’d otherwise not be likely to connect with. In the case of young Emma, “She has read very specific books for some authors,” her father says. “To her, it is an amazing experience to meet the people that write the books she records.”
And that’s likely to continue.
Many podcasters might hear of someone being more than 650 episodes in and thinking there could be a case of podfading on the horizon, but when asked how long Emma sees herself continuing to do the podcast, her father says, “As long as kids like to listen to stories, she will keep recording them.”