Conducted by Edison Research for SXM Media, The Woman’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 the 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 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 or $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. Podcast power everyday lives 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.
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 form entertainment 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 things 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.