Women represent a growing share of monthly podcast listeners, recent data indicates, and 35% of adult women in the US have listened to a podcast within the past month. Most female monthly podcast listeners began listening to podcasts some time within the past 3 years, including 40% who first tuned in within the past year, according to a report [pdf] from Edison Research and SXM Media.
The study is based on an August 2022 survey of 1,567 women ages 18 and older in the US, more than one-third (553) of whom listen to podcasts on at least a monthly basis (“monthly podcast listeners”). This group is most likely to have first discovered podcasts via recommendations from friends and family, though it’s notable that among the youngest age group (18-34), more were first turned on to podcasts by seeing them on social media than through a recommendation.
Among female monthly podcast listeners, certain podcast topic stand out as having particular appeal. The most popular topic is Comedy, with 40% of monthly listeners saying that they ever listen to this genre of podcasts. Comedy is followed by True Crime (37%) as the only two that more than one-third of monthly listeners have ever tuned in to.
Beyond those top 2, certain other genres have been listened to by at least 3 in 10 monthly listeners. These include Love & Relationships (32%), Entertainment, Celebrity & Gossip (31%), News/Information (30%) and Wellness/Self-Improvement (30%).
Past research has suggested that Kids & Family is the most popular genre among female listeners, but this category was not included in this latest research.
In segmenting the highest-indexing topics by demographic, the report indicates that Language is the highest-indexing (165) for 18-24-year-old female monthly podcast listeners, while Games/Hobbies is the top-indexing for 25-34-year-olds (173) and Children’s (192) for 35-54-year-olds and for Moms (213). Among Black female podcast listeners Love & Relationships is the top-indexing category (156), while among Hispanic listeners Fantasy/Sci-Fi (185) is the highest-indexing. It should be noted that these results are based on small sample sizes.
In other highlights from the study specific to female monthly podcast listeners:
- 84% recommend podcasts to others either sometimes (63%) or frequently (21%), most commonly because they feel the other person would like the topic;
- 56% have ever followed a podcast on social media, and 51% have ever followed a host of a podcast on social media;
- 90% listen to at least one podcast hosted or produced by a woman;
- 55% would listen to more podcasts if there were more that included female stories and perspectives; and
- 67% of those ages 18-24 wish there were more podcasts that focus on women of color.
For more, check out the report here [pdf].