A quick glance at a magazine rack reveals that content for men and women has long been different, so why should podcasting be any different? A new analysis from the Rephonic podcast database shows clear differences in the audience demographics of some of the biggest podcasting genres. But what may surprise is their impact on the number of listeners.
Podcast audiences that bias women tend to have fewer listeners than those that bias men and those with an equal split according to his analysis. And podcasts with a very female audience have far fewer listeners. Rephonic says this could be partly because listening to podcasts skews men overall. The latest data from Edison Research shows that 53% of monthly listeners are male. The result, according to the analysis, is that very feminine shows have about 7,000 listeners each week, about 10,000 less than very masculine shows. Calculating Rephonic’s numbers also shows that shows appealing to both genders don’t have the greatest weekly reach, with podcasts with a slight male slant beating it by a small margin – 19,000 weekly listeners to 20,000.
Rephonic also looked at the average length of an episode and compared it to gender differences and the results seem to go against stereotypes of which gender talks the most. “Our research for this article revealed that podcasts with a very male audience tend to have episodes much longer than that, averaging 56 minutes in length,” he says in a blog post.
This compares to very feminine shows that last just over 40 minutes.
An earlier Rephonic analysis found that the average length of podcasts is 36 minutes. For podcasts with guests, the average episode length was 44 minutes.
The gender breakdown of podcasts shows that football-focused shows had the most male listeners, with men making up more than three-quarters of their audience. Sports, technology, video games and music podcasts also had a strong male bias.
Shows that have had the largest female audiences include Spirituality, Alternative Health, Health & Fitness, and Kids & Family. Rephonic says true crime, which is often considered one of women’s favorite genres, also has more female listeners than males.
Categories like entrepreneurship and comedy interviews tend to have evenly split audiences.
Rephonic has a database of over 2.5 million podcasts and says it only used shows where there are enough data points to estimate their audience’s gender asymmetry, so the results may be biased towards larger emissions. He also notes that gender bias was based on listeners’ names to guess their gender. But while those guesses are unlikely to be 100% accurate, Rephonic says it thinks the error is small when taken as a whole.