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Women Podcast Listeners: Closing the Listening Gender Gap

Women Podcast Listeners: Closing the Listening Gender Gap

By Megan Lazovick

13 years in the past, when the one methods to take heed to a podcast have been by means of a pc or by transferring it to an iPod, somebody from Edison Analysis added a query about podcast listening to our annual research Infinite Dial research. Because of the foresight of that hero of an audio geek, Edison has a singular take a look at the historical past of the expansion of podcast listening within the U.S.

And all through that historical past, we now have noticed that the variety of ladies podcast listeners has trailed behind the variety of males listeners. Within the earlier years of podcasting, the hole was vital (in 2008, the % of girls who ever listened to a podcast lagged behind males by 25%). In the present day, podcasters are inching towards closing that gender listening hole (in 2018, the % of girls who ever take heed to podcasts solely lags behind males by 9%), and we at Edison want to present some info which may assist shut the hole additional. To take action, we’ll take a look at a few of our beforehand revealed research to take a better take a look at the ladies in these knowledge units to know podcasting’s position in ladies’s lives.

The Infinite Dial

The 2018 Infinite Dial® Research from Edison Analysis® and Triton Digital® covers the newest analysis in digital audio, social media, cellular, sensible audio system, and podcast consumption. 2018 was, amazingly, the 20th anniversary of the Infinite Dial, making it the longest-running survey of digital media shopper conduct in America.

Based on Infinite Dial, in 2018 simply over one quarter (26%) of the 12+ U.S. inhabitants are month-to-month listeners. The Infinite Dial estimates present that males’s month-to-month podcast listening was flat from 2017 to 2018. Whereas ladies are nonetheless behind males in month-to-month podcast listening, they did develop from 21% in 2017 to 24% in 2018 – which makes for an estimated 34 million ladies listening.

Ladies month-to-month podcast shoppers general are youthful than the 12+ inhabitants, with 44% of them underneath the age of 35 in comparison with 37% within the complete inhabitants. Ladies age 25-34 are the actually candy spot for podcasting listenership, with over a 3rd of them saying they’ve listened to a podcast within the final month. There’s nonetheless plenty of room for progress amongst within the different age teams, particularly with ladies age 55 and older, with solely 13% saying they’ve listened to a podcast within the final month.

In comparison with the whole inhabitants, age 18+, ladies podcast shoppers have a better annual family revenue. Absolutely 44% have a family revenue of $75,000, in comparison with solely 38% of the full inhabitants. Ladies podcast shoppers are additionally extra more likely to have obtained greater schooling than in comparison with the whole inhabitants. Thirty-six % of girls who’re month-to-month podcast shoppers have attended at the very least some graduate faculty (vs. 23% of all People). So, ladies podcast listeners are fairly well-off and extremely educated: two very wanted demographics for advertisers.

One quantity that we actually see develop yr after yr is the period of time these weekly listeners spend listening to podcasts. In 2018, ladies podcast shoppers that reported listening within the final week (15% of U.S. ladies), take heed to a mean of 5 hours and 37 minutes of podcasts per week, which is up from four hours and 29 minutes in 2017. Ladies weekly podcast shoppers take heed to a mean of seven podcasts per week, up from 5 per week in 2017. These knowledge together with and in-person interviews with podcast listeners all point out that when somebody turns into a podcast listener, he/she spends quite a bit of time listening to podcasts. Edison Analysis’s Share of Ear® research appears extra deeply at time spent listening.


Edison Analysis’s Share of Ear® quantifies the attain and time spent with of all types of audio. It’s the solely single-source measurement that places broadcast radio, Web-only streaming audio, podcasting, satellite tv for pc radio, TV music channels, and listeners’ personal music collections collectively. Extra details about the research is out there right here.

People age 13+ spend a mean of 4 hours per day listening to audio. If you escape these 4 hours, we see 46% of that point goes to AM/FM Radio listening, 14% to streaming audio, 12% owned music, and three% to podcasts. However, what’s actually highly effective is once you take a look at the Share of Ear amongst ladies podcast listeners. As seen under, a whopping 27% of their listening goes to podcasting and AM/FM Radio listening drops to 24% of their time. So, when ladies begin listening to podcasts, nearly all of their general listening time is devoted to podcasts. However how do you change non-podcast listeners into podcast listeners?


Podcast Listening Obstacles research

Whereas the Infinite Dial supplies a number of details about podcast listeners, and Share of Ear provides us an concept of how a lot ladies podcast listeners pay attention, we needed to know extra about these ladies who don’t pay attention to podcasts. So, we carried out a separate survey with those that are acquainted with the time period podcasting, however aren’t listeners. That knowledge has been beforehand launched as a part of Tom Webster’s “Podcasting’s Subsequent Frontier: A Manifesto for Progress,” however we’ll, once more, take a look at this knowledge by ladies to raised perceive the roadblocks podcasters face in choosing up never-before listeners.

Whereas all the ladies who participated within the research stated they have been accustomed to the time period podcasting, 31% of them stated they “don’t actually perceive what a podcast is.”

There’s additionally a scarcity of a transparent understanding concerning the know-how wanted to take heed to a podcast. Thirty-eight % of our ladies respondents stated they “aren’t positive the right way to take heed to podcasts” and 66% stated they “don’t know the place to start out.” We now have heard these sentiments repeated in a number of in-person interviews and focus teams with non-podcast listeners. In our interviews, ladies have been overwhelmed by the variety of decisions. They want somebody to curate and advocate to them what content material they could like.

Three-quarters of girls who don’t pay attention stated they don’t have a podcast app. We all know that, certainly, most DO have a podcast app (at minimal Spotify or Pandora); they’re simply are unaware.

Just about all podcast listeners know that one can obtain and play a podcast later, however that info hasn’t been handed right down to non-listeners: Sixty-eight % of girls acquainted with the time period “podcasts” however who do no pay attention thought that podcasts would expend their knowledge plans.

Sixty-one % stated they might pay attention if there have been subjects they have been fascinated with, and this could possibly be a case the place they don’t seem to be conversant in the content material that’s on the market for them, or maybe podcasters can do extra to create content material that appeals to ladies.

Sixty-percent of girls conversant in podcast however don’t pay attention say “podcasts simply aren’t for me.” Maybe lots of them are “music-only” individuals. We all know from Share of Ear that not everybody likes speech-based audio. Nevertheless, listening to such a big proportion of girls saying “it’s simply not for me” might simply point out that the podcasting business has not executed a ok job in explaining what’s obtainable to potential listeners.

So what is going to we see in 2019? Will we see that podcasting has lastly closed the hole between women and men listeners when Edison Analysis and Triton Digital launched the Infinite Dial in 2019? Will we see extra women-focused podcasts and women-produced podcasts? Will there be extra exhibits universally appreciated throughout all demos which might be so interesting to non-listeners that they overcome a number of the obstacles which have stored them from listening beforehand? We aren’t within the enterprise of predicting the longer term at Edison, however we do have some suggestions to assist shut the gender listening hole.

First, clarify the content material, not the tech.  We’ve got achieved qualitative analysis that exhibits fairly clearly that non-listeners, even when they are saying they’ve heard of a podcast, don’t fairly perceive what a podcast is. So hold that in thoughts when you’re telling somebody why they need to to take heed to your podcast. In interviews with podcast listeners, individuals inform us that they pay attention as a result of they take pleasure in studying new issues as a result of they join with the hosts, they even inform us how the exhibits they take heed to make them really feel. Focus your messages on what you realize makes your podcast nice, and problem your self to write down a model of your pitch that doesn’t use the phrase “podcast.”

Second, get to know your listeners. How a lot have you learnt about your listeners? There are such a lot of methods to study and work together with them. Definitely understanding primary demographics will assist you promote sponsorships. However, there are different methods to study them too. Pay attention to your listeners. Invite them to e mail their ideas or ship audio information or work together with them on social media. Construct time into your day EVERYDAY to take heed to your viewers. In the event you perceive your viewers, you’ll discover ways to higher serve them, which in the long run, will higher serve you too.

Lastly, invite listeners into your membership. You’re extra than a podcast. You’re a membership, a group, a gaggle of like-minded individuals trying to join. Have you ever ever met a stranger and someway came upon that you simply like the identical podcast? Did you immediately really feel like associates? It’s a tremendous phenomenon. It’s essential to take into consideration your podcast as simply touchpoint on your complete group of listeners.

Everybody needs to really feel like they’re part of one thing. Permit individuals to be part of your membership. Ask them to do one thing extra significant than fee your present or write a evaluation. Perhaps ask them to contribute concepts or maybe there’s a trigger that’s necessary to you and your listeners you can help collectively. Be greater than only a podcast by inviting others to hitch you in doing one thing. And when you can’t inform what your one thing is, then perhaps it is best to work on that. As a result of one of the best exhibits on the market are extra than simply exhibits.