December 27, 2005 10:34 AM PST

Podcasts: A guy thing?

Chances are, if you've recorded a podcast in the last year, the people listening in were men.

A survey in December by Podtrac, a company that aims to connect podcasters and advertisers, showed that 78 percent of those who have ever listened to a podcast are male. That pattern is in keeping with early adoption of a wide array of technologies, from PCs to video games.

"With podcasting just over a year old, the current maleness of the podcast audience at the aggregate level is consistent with gender usage trends of the early Web," Mark McCrery, Podtrac's CEO, said in a statement.

But the survey, released Tuesday, also pointed to a faster shift to a more even balance between the genders. Of the respondents who had listened to a podcast within the preceding week, 51 percent were women.

The online audio phenomenon is ringing bells with an ever-wider audience, according to Podtrac's figures. One-third of respondents were familiar with the term "podcasting," one-third of those who are familiar have ever listened to a podcast, and two in five of those who have ever listened had done so in the preceding seven days.

Although podcasts--audio programs designed for distribution over the Web to MP3 players such as Apple Computer's iPod--haven't been on the scene long, they are already attracting the attention of advertisers and the organizational skills of Internet giants such as Yahoo.

The study, commissioned by Podtrac and conducted by custom research specialist Taylor Nelson Sofres, surveyed 1,000 adults from the general online population.

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Mommycast a guy thing?
It's funny the topic of this story is podcasting being a "guy thing." Certainly I'm a guy, I have a podcast, okay. However, it's commonly known that one of the first "big deal" podcasts, which has a sponsorship deal with Dixie, is the gals over at Mommycast .. which I think is clearly not a guy thing from either side of the pod.

I have a book coming out from Sams/Indy-Tech in late spring/early 2006 ("The Savvy Guide to Podcasting") which takes a more gender neutral approach to the business and practice of podcasting, and uses anecdotal examples of WHO is "making it" in podcasting and how to make a successful podcast versus "shouting at the sky."

Since the same "headspace" for audio books and ipod minis is more skewed to women, it is clear that there are many women on both sides of the 'cast making great programs. I think you're overlooking quality over quantity. If you were to view some of the podcasts being made by women, you might find that if the ratio is 1000:1 in favor of men for quantity, the quality factor might be 1000:1 in favor of women. :-)

Happy holidays!

Christopher Simmons
Posted by Neotrope (74 comments )
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