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Data finds podcast hosts skew male and white

Quartz podcast host data

In August, we shared a Wired article that questioned the narrow demographic group that has been dominating the growing podcast space, noting that the limited viewpoints could limit the format’s reach. “Podcasts are still a young medium, and with the ease of recording, networks have enormous potential for promoting otherwise unheard voices,” the piece said. “So let’s go for breadth of listenership, rather than depth.”

A worthy aim indeed, especially as new data from Quartz confirms that bias among the people sitting down behind the mic. Writer Josh Morgan collected a random sample of 537 shows from the U.S. iTunes directory and did some demographic analysis. He results showed that only 18% of American podcasts had a non-white host. Women were also drastically outnumbered by male hosts, both among the white and non-white groups. Morgan made his full dataset available here.

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Anna Washenko

3 Comments

  1. Very relevant useful article, and relates to my work in Uganda. As a colleague commented “many radio programmers in Uganda consciously but more often unknowingly, program their radio’s towards a male audience. Mostly because they are men. Yet the majority of the population are female and they often decide on purchase of advertised goods. There are some other advantages of focussing on females, for example listener loyalty.” Will reference in my newsletter.

  2. Forgot to add that a host’s gender does not necessarily mean it secures that same audience, as content and other factors come into play. In Uganda it can be difficult to find suitable female hosts, hence most are male, even in female-oriented radio stations.

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