The Women’s 2022 Podcast Report: fact sheet
Conducted by Edison Research for SXM Media, The Women’s 2022 Podcast Report captures the listening behaviors of women across the nation to determine and explore new growth, emerging themes and established demographics. Stemming from previous studies like the Latino Podcast Report and Black Podcast Listener Report, this report is the next iteration in SXM Media’s endeavor to elevating underrepresented voices.
Who We Surveyed
We heard from 1,500 Americans who self-identify as women, aged 18+ in August of 2022 and listen to podcasts monthly. The collection of data was weighted to match age, sex, Census region of the U.S. women’s population and Infinite Dial 2022 podcast listening statics.
Podcast Listenership Among Women is Up
- Over 1 in 3 U.S. Women 18+ (35%) have listened to a podcast in the past month. This is up 67% over the past 5 years, and now represents an estimated 47 million women.
- Over the past 5 years, women have started closing the gender gap in a medium that once skewed heavily male. In 2017, only 44% of U.S. 18+ monthly podcast listeners were female. In 2022 48% are female, more closely mirroring the U.S. population.
- As we see with podcast listeners overall, women monthly podcast listeners stand out from total U.S. women ages 18+. They are:
- Younger (48% more likely to be ages 18-34)
- More likely to be in the workforce (47% more likely to be employed full time)
- Higher income (36% more likely to have household income of $100k or more)
- Highly educated (22% more likely to have a college degree)
- More likely to be Moms (33% more likely to have children under 18)
Day to Day Listening Habits
- Women listen to a variety of podcast content – on average, they listen to 5.7 different genres or topics. Some groups are even more voracious, with women aged 25-34 listening to 6.9 topics, Hispanic women listening to 6.8 topics, and moms listening to 6.5 topics.
- Women listen to podcasts both at home and on the go. Of those studied, 2 in 3 women listen to podcasts in the home most often, with 6 in 10 sometimes ever listening in a car/vehicle. Further, 3 in 4 women listen to podcasts via mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) most often.
- 75% of women say they listen to podcasts to be entertained while doing mundane tasks. Podcasts power everyday activities for women like housework/chores (69%), cooking/baking (59%), laundry (57%), getting ready for the day (55%), eating (52%), exercising (50%), getting ready for bed (48%), and running errands (42%).
- Sharing and promoting podcasts is something women listeners are apt to do. In fact, 73% of women listeners find out about new podcasts to listen to from friends and family - their top discovery source.
- More than 8 in 10 women listeners recommend podcasts to their friends and family (84%). And 2 in 10 listeners (add percent) are frequent recommenders - with Gen Z, women aged 35-44, multicultural listeners, and moms over-indexing.
- Women listeners’ reasons for sharing podcasts range from simple entertainment to deeper emotional motivations. 75% shared a podcast because it inspired them, 47% shared because they wanted to have a deeper connection with someone, 47% shared because they wanted to share their feelings with someone, and more than 30% shared because it made them cry. Of these groups, Gen Z and Black Women are the most likely groups to look for deeper connections when sharing a podcast recommendation with others.
Gen Z, Women of Color and Moms’ Content Preferences Differ
Women listen to a diverse slate of podcast topics ranging from entertaining to informational content. Comedy leads overall, followed by true crime, love & relationships, entertainment/celebrity/gossip, news & information, and wellness/self-Improvement. That said, content preferences vary by age, ethnicity and parental status.
Gen Z Women
- Gen Z women over-index for listening to podcasts about language, horror, drama, celebrity, and beauty/fashion
- Gen Z women over-index for being interested in female-focused podcasts on LGBTQ+, gender, sex positivity, reproductive rights, and dating/relationships
- Of note, millennial women over-index on many of the same as Gen Z, but with the addition of astrology and motherhood
- Hispanic women over-index for fantasy/sci-fi, children’s topics, horror, language, and drama
- Black women over-index for love & relationships, wellness/self-improvement, drama, adult fiction, and celebrity
- Black women over-index on interest in female-focused podcasts on social justice, public policy, business/economy, and self-care
- Moms over-index for children’s, language, sports, adult fiction, and fantasy/sci-fi
- Moms over-index on interest in female-focused podcasts on kids & family, motherhood, dating/relationships, fiction, and reproductive rights
More Representation Still Needed
- There is still room for growth when it comes to amplifying voices of women of color in podcasting. Among monthly listeners, 57% of Multicultural Women (and 67% of W18-24) wish that there were more podcasts that focus on women of color. Almost half of Multicultural Women (47%; and 55% of W18-24) have a hard time finding podcasts that focus on women of color.
Female-Hosted Podcasts Give Marketers Extra Reach
- Podcasts are spaces that fulfill unique content needs for women listeners. Of respondents, 55% say it’s important that podcasts include unfiltered conversations that can’t be heard elsewhere, and 4 in 10 (percent) say it’s important that podcasts discuss taboo or controversial topics.
- When asked what podcast topics they would want to hear in the lens of female stories & perspectives, self-care, mental health, friendships, true crime, and dating/relationships topped the list for women monthly listeners.
- Over half of women listeners say they would listen to more podcasts if there were more that included female stories and perspectives (55%). 52% say they would listen to more podcasts if there were more hosted by women.
- Hearing an ad from a brand in a podcast with female hosts or producers makes women listeners more likely to consider (41%), recommend (36%), purchase (31%) and spend more (26%) on the brand compared to hearing ads on other podcasts.
- Almost half of women listeners (48%) would feel more favorable about a brand if they knew it advertises on female-hosted or produced podcasts. 9 in 10 (percentage) women monthly podcast listeners say they listen to at least one podcast that is hosted or produced by a woman.
How Women Engage with Shows Beyond Listening
- Women engage with their favorite shows via social media, with 56% of monthly listeners having followed a podcast on social media, 51% having followed a podcast host on social media, and 40% having shared a podcast on social media.
- They follow hosts/shows on social media to stay up to date on the show (60%), to show their support of the show (58%), and to feel more connected with the community (37%), even talking to other listeners through social channels (32%).
SXM Media Specific Stats
- SXM Media is the #1 podcast network with women 18+, reaching 48% more female listeners than the next podcast network.
- 5 of the top 25 shows among women are SXM Media podcasts, more than any other podcast network.
- Crime Junkie is the #1 podcast among women. Crime Junkie is hosted by Ashley Flowers, Founder and CEO of Audiochuck, a female-focused podcast network within the SXM Media portfolio.
This is a press release from SXM Media which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.