Another productive day in Cannes! I had the unique opportunity to interview Anna Sullivan, VP at Gimlet. Gimlet is one of the premiere podcast partners in media, with veterans from NPR at their helm and their podcasts consistently ranking at the top of the iTunes charts, where most podcast listenership occurs. Having been in the industry for a decade, Anna is a prime example of female leadership in the media industry. Leading Gimlet’s sales team, Anna has a unique perspective on the podcast landscape.
Despite being a predominant medium for over a decade, podcast listenership skews male with Gimlet’s listenership being around 60% male on average, with some of their most popular shows skewing even heavier towards men. Anna outlined the beginning of podcasts where it didn’t matter if podcasts were great content because it was irrelevant economically. While there are female voices in the podcast space, there is still predominantly male talent on podcasts. Even shows that feature female talent don’t, at large, speak directly to women and unique issues that they might face (IE Science Vs., one Gimlet’s most popular podcasts). Additionally, the larger female-focused podcasts surrounded gossip and celebrity content, with female-specific socioeconomic content lacking.
Despite this, Gimlet is making serious strides to invest in female talent and continues to focus on diversified content series. With more than 60 million Americans listening to podcasts every month, brands who are playing in this space should consider creating or investing in diversified content to speak to a broader audience, ultimately reaching users in a space where they are highly engaged. Going back to my clients, I will be looking at how brands can dictate change in the podcast space to speak to a female audience in an untapped, but meaningful way.
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