A quick glance at a magazine rack reveals content for men and women has long been distinctive, so why should podcasting be any different? A new analysis from the podcast database Rephonic shows clear differences among the audience demographics of some of podcasting’s biggest genres. But what may be surprising is their impact on listener numbers.
Podcast audiences that skew female tend to have fewer listeners than those that skew male and those with an equal split its analysis finds. And podcasts with very female audiences have significantly fewer listeners. Rephonic says that could be in part because podcasting listening overall skews male. The latest Edison Research data shows 53% of monthly listeners are men. The result, according to the analysis, is that very female-leaning shows have about 7,000 listeners each week – or roughly 10,000 fewer than very male-skewing shows. Rephonic’s number crunching also shows that shows appealing to both genders equally do not have the largest weekly reach, with podcasts with a slight male tilt beating them by a small margin – 19,000 weekly listeners versus 20,000.
Rephonic also looked at how long an average episode runs and stacked it up against gender leans and the results seem to buck stereotypes of which gender gabs the most. “Our research for this article found that podcasts with very male audiences tend to have episodes that are significantly longer than this, with an average length of 56 minutes,” it says in a blog post.
That compares to very female shows that are just over 40 minutes.
Earlier Rephonic analysis found that the average podcast length is 36 minutes. For podcasts with guests, the average episode length was 44 minutes.
The podcasts’ gender breakout shows that football-focused shows had the most male skewing listeners, with guys making up more than three-quarters of their audience. Sports, tech, video games and music podcasts also had a heavy tilt toward men.
Shows that had the biggest female audiences include spirituality, alternative health, health and fitness, and kids and family. Rephonic says true crime, which is often thought of as one of women’s go-to genres, does have more female listeners than men as well.
Categories such as entrepreneurship and comedy interviews tend to have audiences that are evenly split.
Rephonic has a database of over 2.5 million podcasts and it says it only used shows where there are enough data points to estimate the gender skew of their audience so the results may be biased toward larger shows. It also notes the gender skew was based on the names of listeners to guess their gender. But while those guesses are unlikely to be 100% accurate, Rephonic says it believes the error to be low when taken in aggregate.