To see the full results of the survey, click here
Does Audio Drama attract enough female listeners?
When looking over the results of my Online Audio Drama Listener Survey this was one of the most surprising and disappointing results. I can’t say how accurate a reflection this poll is on the wider audio drama community, but I did try to post the initial link in as many relevant places as possible, none of which I’d have considered particularly male or female dominated.
If this gives an accurate reflection of the big picture, why are audio drama shows failing to win over female listeners? Given the mass popularity of shows like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, many would argue that we’ve moved on from having fiction “for men” or “for women”, and that modern storytelling is aimed at fans of particular genres, rather than what their gender supposedly “should” like.
I’d be especially interested to hear from female audio drama fans, writers, producers etc. Do you think this is a ‘fluke’ result and it in no way represents the wider audio drama listenership? Or does this hint at a real issue that the medium is failing to connect with its female audience?
Is Downloading Dead?
Welcome to the first of many posts regarding my Online Audio Drama Listener Survey. We had 77 responses overall and I’d like to thank everyone who took time to participate, and also to help share the survey link with others. Over the next few weeks we’ll take a closer look at some of the results. I don’t yet have access to the individual response statistics where we will be able to examine some age/gender patterns in detail – hopefully that will change by mid-next week.
From looking at the graph above, Question 6 in the survey, we can see that 35% of respondents are still downloading audio drama and syncing shows to the iPod or MP3 player. With Smartphone listening (presumably streaming more than downloading) at 40% this was much closer than I had expected. With the rise of Smartphone technology, and directories/apps like Stitcher I had the impression that the podcast community was beginning to regard downloading on to a device as a bit antiquated, and we’re now seeing much more focus on directory artwork (where every week now it seems that they are trying to outdo each other with their imagine size requirements – we’ll soon need to go to the cinema to listen to an MP3 if it gets any worse) than metadata and ID3 tags.
Is this a trend purely within audio drama, or does it extend to podcasting on a whole? That is difficult to say. Certainly many podcasts will be listened to more passively than audio fiction, where you need to be following all that is going on or risk losing the story. Some people have replaced their radio with podcasts in recent years, and maintain the habit of having shows on ‘in the background’ whilst tuning in and out of the conversation, is it likely that these listeners are happy enough to stream content rather than download it? Perhaps the lack of audio drama (a drop in the ocean compared to the number of podcasts out there) encourages fans to download as they will probably listen to their favourite shows twice or more.
It seems obvious that downloading will die out in the future, but rumours of its death at this stage seem great exaggerated.
Surveying online audio drama listeners
Below are the ten questions I have put together to be answered by as many willing audio drama listeners as I can find.
I am looking to for certain patterns that may help to answer a few questions relevant to my research. Are the younger ‘internet generation’ of listeners the least satisfied with the variety and quality of current available shows? Are the older generation now accessing dramas on smartphones? What are the most popular genres, and do these relate to certain ages or genders? Where do people look to find new shows? And how long are they usually listening for each week?