How Companies Are Capitalizing to Grow Female Audience

Saiesha Munuri
Marketing Editor

Female podcast listeners are increasing due to altering consumer behaviors brought on by the epidemic.

Diversifying audio listenership has long been a priority for organizations like iHeartMedia, which has witnessed a 95 percent gain in new female listenership and an 85 percent increase in its total audience in the previous two years.

Female podcast listeners are increasing significantly (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia, told Adweek, “This is not by accident; it has been a conscious goal to provide more and better content for female listeners to come into this medium sooner.” However, the corporation did not provide any exact listening figures. Due to more flexible living and working schedules, female podcast listenership is increasing across the audio business. According to Intelligence Insider’s eMarketer forecasts, podcast ad revenue would reach $2 billion in 2023, highlighting population marketers should not overlook.

According to Nielsen, female podcast listeners have increased by 76 percent since 2018. In reference to the survey, heavy female podcast listeners, defined as those who listen to podcasts ten or more times per month, increased from around 5.5 million in November 2019 to over 9.5 million in November 2021. As per Nielsen, sixty-one percent of premium streaming audio users want to expand their podcast usage in the next 12 months.

Arica McKinnon, Nielsen vice president of solutions consulting, states that “more women listen to podcasts at home than at work,” and “more women listen to podcasts at home than at work, and shifting consumer habits caused by the pandemic has allowed women the flexibility to listen to their favorite episodes on demand from home.” according to a recent survey. Programming, particularly around categories that engaged the audience, such as TV, movies, drama, health, and wellness, has helped iHeartMedia expand listenership. Shows like Drama Queens, presented by One Tree Hill actresses Bethany Joy Lenz, Hilarie Burton, and Sophia Bush, showcase highlights from the TV drama.

According to Byrne, iHeart also observed growth in educational series, including Stuff Mom Never Told You and Dear Chelsea, which premiered in April 2021 and is hosted by comedian Chelsea Handler.

Shondaland, one of iHeart’s significant partnerships with TV writer Shonda Rhime, now has more than a dozen series for the network, produces audio-drama or TV-rewatch podcasts, which are biased toward female listeners, according to Byrne. In addition, Shondaland now has a $100 million agreement with Netflix’s streaming platform.

According to Nielsen’s Podcast Ad Effectiveness (PAE) study, 73 percent of female listeners can recall a brand after hearing it, while host-read advertisements produce a 71 percent brand recall rate.

Launching branded podcasts with female artists, according to Byrne, is one of the most acceptable methods for advertisers to zero in on the audience. In addition, Bryne adds that there is “No better way right now to get your company’s message out there, to an engaged audience, with the help of some of the best storytellers in the world.”


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