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Podcast Trends & Women in Podcasting

August 5, 2015

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hi everyone! With technology being so ubiquitous in our daily lives, I want to talk first about some evolving podcast trends, as there are some changes going on out in the pod-stratosphere. And, then in my next post I’ll move into some basic podcast production tips.

Earlier this year I read an article in Wired Magazine about how Podcasting has enjoyed an increased amount of media attention of late. And, even PEW Research shares the same inclinations towards the continued but substantive growth of Podcasting in their Podcast Fact Sheet.

  • “Mobile devices are increasingly the preferred way to listen to podcasts. Libsyn also recorded that, of their 2.6 billion podcast downloads in 2014, 63% were requested from mobile devices – up from 43% in 2012.

  • In 2014, there were about 22,000 active podcasts (up from 12,000 in 2012).

  • An additional indicator of the strong growth of podcasts is the launch of three relatively new podcast networks by public radio alone: Radiotopia by PRX, SoundWorks by PRI, and Infinite Guest by APM.

  • In the following excerpt from Dorie Clark, a Forbes ccontributor, wrote that: “…New York magazine declaring a “great podcast renaissance.” There’s been practically no mention of podcasting from 2008 to 2013,” says Harbinger. “Why? That’s because it wasn’t new anymore, so nobody was talking about it. But, if you look at the statistics…podcasting has been growing steadily, in great numbers.” Indeed, Rob Walch of the podcast hosting service Libsyn agrees, noting that “Smartphones, and specifically the iPhone, have really been the driver of growth the last few years” because they make podcast downloading and consumption easier….”

  • As of February 2013, men hosted 70 percent of the world’s 100 most popular podcasts. Two years later, the disparity in the top-100 remains woefully the same. But other podcast trends suggest a shift is underway. Late last year, massively popular true crime show Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig, became the fastest-growing podcast ever, hitting five million downloads.

IMHO, podcasting is coming of age ( especially for women in the field) and it was ahead of its time. More importantly the following two new podcast examples are produced by women. This is unique in and of itself, because as I noted the market is saturated with male podcasters. Farther below I provide a more extensive list of some women podcasters, but I want to highlight the following two new comers to the podcast arena.

  1. Pushing Hoops with Sticks, hosted by Ayesha A. Siddiqi. There needs to be more shows like this, period. Her show examines race (often within the creative community, like comedy and music) and does so in such an important and direct way.

  2. Baby Geniuses, hosted by Artist Lisa Hanawalt and Emily Heller.

  3. Two Brown Girls, hosted by Fariha Roisin and Zeba Blay. Fariha and Zeba are writers and critics whose show is a mix of topics, ranging from culture, politics, pop culture, style, feminism, race, and politics

  4. Death, Sex and Money, Hosted by Anna Sale. Anna’s podcast, which interviews people about the topics we all struggle to speak openly about, is about to celebrate it’s one year anniversary and his been a major hit since it first hit WNYC’s airwaves.

  5. The JV Club, hosted by Janet Varney. Janet Varney happens to be one of the funniest people around, so when you combine her with some incredible female guests, speaking about what it was like to be a teenager

  6. Hot Grease, hosted by Nicole Taylor. Currently on sabbatical. Nicole’s podcast is dedicated to the American south and all the ways it interacts with (and influences) local food and culture in other places. There are over 160 episodes in her archives.

  7. Design Matters, hosted by Debbie Millman. She tackles more serious issues within the design community.

  8. The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva). The Kitchen Sisters produce a show for NPR and other content for public media across the country. With a long history in radio, these incredible women cover stories ranging from food to serious discussions of life and death

  9. Strangers, hosted by Lea Thau. Lea is the former director of NPR’s beloved Moth series, and her show is dedicated to the same concept – sharing personal stories that mean something to both the teller and the listener.

  10. Black Girls Talking, hosted by Alesia, Fatima, Aurelia and Ramou. This round-table format show. Think of The View.

  11. Rendered (formerly Destination DIY), hosted by Julie Sabatier. This is a show predominantly about design and “maker” talk online.

  12. Radio Cherry Bombe, hosted by Julia Turshen. Food and Cooking. First two years interviewing women in the food industry.

  13. The Spin, hosted by Esther Armah: Esther’s show launched last year and it’s a fantastic weekly show that discusses race, politics, culture and personal stories with women of color.

  14. Strangers

  15. Fugitive Waves with The Kitchen Sisters

  16. On the Media

  17. Answer me This!

  18. Fresh Air

  19. Pop Culture Happy Hour

  20. The Longest Shortest Time

  21. Design Matters with Debbie Millman

  22. Criminal

  23. The Business

  24. The Digital Human

  25. One Bad Mother

  26. Wham Bam Pow

  27. Destination DIY

  28. Sawbones

  29. Slate Culture Gabfest

  30. Slate Political Gabfest

  31. Shortcuts

  32. Re:sound/Third Coast

  33. DecodeDC

  34. Grammar Girl

  35. Serial

  36. Josie Long’s All of the Planet’s Wonders (only 4 episodes)

  37. Sex Nerd Sandra. Sandra Daugherty discusses a broad range of topics from the instructional to the philosophical, including kissing, fetishes, healing after abuse, and, in the most recent episode, the intersection of sexuality and the Bible.

  38. Ronna & Beverly. Two vaguely disapproving Jewish mothers you’ve always wanted but never had. The characters, played by Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo, have an elaborate forty-year backstory, including ex-husbands, children, and a book they coauthored.

  39. Girl on Guy. The format of comic-interviews. Aisha Tyler, the titular girl—who you may recognize as the voice of Lana from Archer—has her own spin on it, where she interviews a guy (sometimes a girl) who is successful in a creative field. It’s more of a conversation than an interview. Her podcast is always a good listen, especially the Self-Inflicted Wounds segment near the end, where she invites her guests to tell a story of a time they humiliated themselves.

  40. Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia. Alie and Georgia first showed up on the Internet’s radar in 2009 when they crafted the McNuggetini out of a chocolate milkshake, vanilla vodka, a barbecue-sauce-rimmed martini glass, and a chicken nugget garnish. Now they have their own show on the Cooking Channel as well as their own podcast, which what it sounds like, pajamas, pillow forts, ghost stories, snacks and all. They almost always have a guest—although a few solo episodes have been recorded—and they have fun regular questions, including, “What did you learn this week?” and, “Who is your Internet crush?”

  41. Go Bayside! When I first heard there was a podcast dedicated to discussing Saved By the Bell, I thought it was a ridiculous idea. But then Paul F. Tompkins was a guest. April Richardson, who grew up watching reruns on TBS, is happy to address it, one episode at a time, on her couch with a weekly guest.

  42. Thrilling Adventure Hour The Thrilling Adventure Hour, performed and recorded live, is a throwback to the Golden Age of Radio. There are several recurring segments, but two of the most frequent are Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, and Beyond Belief.There’s also a great rotating cast of guest stars, and since it’s recorded in LA, you never know who might show up.

  43. Who Charted? Kulap Vilaysack (once you learn how to say it you’ll want to do it all the time) acts as a guide (and occasional translator) for the glorious anarchy of her co-host Howard Kramer. Together, they count down three top-five charts, one related to music, one to movies, and one grab bag, all with a weekly guest.

  44. Throwing Shade. In Throwing Shade, Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi, self-described “femme-nasty” and “homo-sensual,” locked in a love/hate friendship, talk about current events related to feminist and LGBT issues. Every week, they each bring an issue to the table, and if that sounds boring, you should know that the two met performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in LA and are contributors to Funny or Die. Episode 111  is relevant.

  45. How Did This Get Made? This is a podcast dedicated to breaking down bad movies. Paul Sheer hosts, with Jason Mantzoukas and his wife June Diane Raphael making up the rest of the regular panel. The three of them seem like they’re friends in real life, because they’ve played off each other perfectly from the first episode, when they dissected Burlesque.

  46. I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman. Do you know Jen Kirkman from Drunk HIstory or Chelsea Lately? Well, hear her podcast recorded from her bed, it kind of feels like you’re on the phone with one of your best friends after a long day.

  47. Raise Your Hand Say Yes With Tiffany Han

  48. A Better Life with Rachel Rofé

  49. After The Jump – Grace Bonney

  50. Creative Living – Jamie Ridler

  51. The Lively Show – Jess Lively

  52. One Part Podcast Jessica Murnane

  53. This Girl Means Business – Carrie Green

  54. Lady Business Radio – Jessica Kupferman

  55. Off The Charts – Nathalie Lussier

  56. The Sarah Bagley Podcast

  57. Online Marketing Made Easy – Amy Porterfield

  58. Natalie Sisson’s The Suitcase Entrepreneur

  59. The Broad Experience – Ashley Milne-Tyte

  60. Elise Gets Crafty

  61. The Introvert Entrepreneur With Beth Buelow

Do you have a favorite female podcast show? And, are any of you looking for more women-hosted podcasts? Bitch Media has a list of great women-hosted podcasts

Want to start your own podcast? Get in touch with me via email at alice@flatlandsavellc.com. Anyone looking to help women get involved in podcasting can reach out.

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