Wages For Women And BIPOC Industry Members Are Falling

In 2020, UKAN surveyed its member to push pay transparency. In 2023, they opened their UKAN State of The Audio Industry Survey. The results are in, and the key takeaway is: If you’re not white or a man, you’re earning less than you were three years ago. As women advanced in their careers, the pay disparity between genders was disturbingly amplified. While men are earning significantly more in 2020, women are earning less. 

On stage at The Podcast Show in London on 25th May, UK Audio Network (UKAN) and Content is Queen jointly announced the next phase of the Equality in Audio Pact [EAP] under their stewardship. This announcement is a necessary response to the critical need for accountability and progress in the podcasting industry as the clamour for equality continues to reverberate globally.

About the EAP

The EAP was created in June 2020 by Renay Richardson, Founder and CEO of Broccoli Productions. It was co-signed and supported by Falling Tree, Boom Shakalaka Productions, Unedited: and Don’t Skip before launching publicly. The pact has over 350 signatories with broadcasters, including the BBC, Acast, Spotify and Bauer group. 

With UK Audio Network and Content is Queen at the helm, we enter Phase Two of the EAP to ensure transparency, equity, and diversity are at the forefront of minds without the audio industry. 

Imriel shared, “The next phase is to ensure the pledges made by our signatories are upheld, to reward those who meet the agreed standards and to hold accountable those who fall short. Token gestures are no longer acceptable.”

We’re trying to make pay equality a reality, not just a goal. 

UKAN Survey Results

The sample size of the UKAN survey was 209 submissions, independently verified. There were 118 entries from women, 73 from men and six from non-binary humans. Here’s what the survey found:

  • Since 2020, men’s salaries have risen by £8,605 while women’s have dropped by £2,415.
  • Men with 3-5 years of experience earn, on average, £39,408, whereas women with the same tenure earn £34,500.
  • Men with 6-10 years of experience earn an average of £49,489 compared to women’s £37,364, a gap that has increased since 2020. 
  • Men with over a decade’s experience are earning an average of £50,069 while their female counterparts earn £41,392, a decrease of £5,408 in women’s earnings compared to 2020. 
  • White producers earned an average of £42,035, while BIPOC producers’ earnings averaged a concerning £33,301 in 2023. 
  • Since 2020, the average salaries of white producers have increased by £2,511, by BIPOC producers have decreased by £1,789.

Speaking on the survey results, Head of UKAN, Laura Blake warned, “This is putting the industry on notice. Our pay transparency survey results remind us that we have systematic gaps to fill and that talent is being ignored, underpaid and under-invested in. If you are not white and not a man, you are being paid less than three years ago. Time to say less and do more.”

These figures are a stark reminder that the industry has a duty to address these systemic imbalances. These figures show that although the sentiment may have been there, there’s work to be done. More than a pledge is needed. We need to see a real, lasting change to level out the playing field. 

Content is Queen is committed to being the driving force behind the necessary change. If you haven’t already, read the open letter to the audio industry from Imriel here.

If you are in a position to influence conversations and decisions around pay, hiring practice and representation within your organisation, you can read the pledges and sign the pact here. Finally, please amplify these stats, sharing them far and wide so we can hold industry leaders accountable and put their money where their mouth is.

Reaching Diverse Audiences in Audio

Research shows that podcast listenership is increasingly diverse. Last year, Insider Intelligence reported that podcast listener diversity nearly matches the diversity of the US population. But while audiences are diverse, some communities are underserved.

According to a report by Edison Research and Sounds Profitable, half of all podcast hosts in the US are white. Furthermore, a 2020 study from Spotify Sound Up found that Black, Asian and Minority Ethic women or non-binary people host less than 5% of the UK’s top 100 podcasts. Pretty bleak. 

As we continuously witness the lack of diversity in audio and how minority audiences are often overlooked, we want to highlight the importance of reaching and engaging with diverse listeners. So, in this article, we’re sharing our thoughts on reaching diverse audiences through podcasting. 

Reaching and engaging a diverse audience through audio

Commit to inclusivity 

First and foremost, to reach diverse audiences, you must genuinely commit to inclusivity. Without doing so, you could unknowingly be excluding listeners. From ensuring your content is accessible to using inclusive language and imagery, you can make plenty of minor adjustments that have a significant impact. 

Understand your target audience

It’s essential that you clearly define and understand the audience you want to target. It’s useless to claim you want to reach ‘diverse’ listeners as a box-ticking exercise. So, think about who you want to reach and why. It’s essential to be specific to take the necessary steps to speak directly to that audience. 

Commission diverse voices 

There is a continuous gap in the market for podcasts to target more diverse audiences, which calls for more audio representation. 

When events like International Women’s Day, Black History Month, and LGBTQ+ History Month roll around each year, we see brands and publications capitalise on the opportunity to portray themselves as inclusive & diverse. But how many of those are putting their money where their mouth is? 

Amplifying diverse voices for one month of the year isn’t enough. To genuinely appeal to diverse listeners, the industry must support diverse creators all year round. 

Make long-term investments

 This leads us to our next point, long-term investments are essential. In an interview with PodPod, Shelina Janmohamed, host of The Shelina Show & advertising executive for Ogilivy, explained, “I think, unfortunately, one of the traps of diversity is that once you’ve commissioned it, a brand thinks that they’ve been there and done that,” said Janmohamed. “But actually, it can’t be a one-off investment. It has to be something that they invest into building over time so that voice becomes embedded in the community but can also become more widely listened to.”

Exploiting creators to capitalise on a celebration or trending movement is not diversity & inclusion. 

Engage with diverse creators & organisations championing diversity

As the results of the UKAN State of the Audio Industry Survey 2023 and our Open Letter to the Audio Industry show, there is still a long way to go in terms of DE&I, but we can all commit to learning, doing better and turning promises into meaningful action. 

So whether you’re an audio creator, commissioner, producer, distributor or brand trying to reach new audiences through podcasting, this point applies to everyone. Take the time to build meaningful connections with diverse creators and engage with organisations that champion underrepresented voices and open the door for collaborations that align to make the audio space more inclusive.

Content is Queen is committed to diversity, equity & inclusion in audio and will continue to fight for this through our work and as the new co-stewards of Phase Two of the Equality In Audio Pact with UKAN. Help us amplify these efforts by signing the pact if you’re a decision-maker or following and sharing our messages on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram

An Open Letter to the Audio Industry: Time to Turn Words into Action

Dear Audio Industry Leaders,

As an Indie podcaster, community leader and festival organiser, I am writing to address an issue that has become increasingly apparent and unacceptable: the persistent lack of support for marginalised creators in the audio industry. It is time for the audio industry to confront the glaring disparities and take meaningful action to address the systemic barriers holding back so many talented individuals.

In acknowledging the initial steps taken by the audio industry, we recognise the pledges and programmes to promote diversity and inclusion. However, the journey towards actual change requires more than token one-off gestures—it requires substantial action and investment.

We, the community leaders, have tirelessly rallied, mentored, and ushered in emerging, underrepresented voices, proving that our role extends beyond ticking a box. The diverse and niche audiences we cultivate aren’t just crucial for optics; they are instrumental in driving the industry’s overall growth and widening the scope for increased ad revenue.

Many other organisers and creators from underrepresented backgrounds are facing shared struggles. Despite the audio industry’s public commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we are repeatedly told that there’s no funding available to support initiatives run by those communities which directly help underrepresented creators get a foothold in this industry. How does a sector seeing continued growth in advertising revenue openly and honestly say there’s no funding for events or activities explicitly targeting underrepresented groups, be they Black, disabled, women or LGBTQIA+? How is only $100,000 pledged to support African podcasters from one of the biggest audio companies in the world but millions spent on acquiring one creator? We’ve counted at least three organisations publically pledge £/$100M to create equity. This inconsistency between words and actions is discouraging at best,  harmful as a standard, and perpetuates a culture of exclusion and tokenism at worst. It’s gatekeeping in its finest form.

The audio industry benefits and profits from the diverse talents we nurture, often without acknowledging the groups they rely upon to reach this untapped potential. It’s time to transform these pledges into action—into meaningful partnerships and investments in the ecosystem that genuinely support the diverse talents driving our industry forward. Let’s value these voices for what they indeed are—not just diverse but essential contributors to the richness and growth of our shared audio landscape.

By failing to invest in these communities, the industry denies them the chance to thrive. It perpetuates a monolithic culture that stifles creativity and innovation and creates yet another generation in the creative industry where it’s more important who you know than your ideas or work ethic.

With this open letter, I am calling for an honest and critical examination of the industry’s funding practices. It is not enough to merely voice support for diversity; the sector must take tangible steps to ensure that resources are equally distributed and opportunities are accessible to all.

Here are the key actions we demand:

  1. Transparency: Disclose funding allocation data disaggregated by race, gender, and other marginalised identities. This information will allow us to understand the extent of the disparities and track progress in addressing them.
  2. Accountability: Establish clear goals and timelines for increased funding and support for marginalised creators. Make these goals public, and report progress, challenges, and successes regularly.
  3. Investment: Allocate a significant percentage of funding for initiatives led by BIPOC, women, gender diverse, and other marginalised creators. This commitment should extend beyond one-time grants and include ongoing production support, promotion, commissions, and favourable advertising terms that sustain the creator’s activity.
  4. Partnership: Collaborate with grassroots organisers, podcasters, and creators from underrepresented backgrounds to develop and implement strategies that address their needs and promote success.
  5. Education: Provide training and resources for industry professionals to understand better systemic racism, misogyny, and other forms of discrimination and to actively work towards dismantling these barriers.

This is not a plea for sympathy or demand for charity. We ask you to level up the audio industry as we know it and make a genuine, long-lasting commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The time for lip service and token gestures has passed. Now is the time for the audio industry to take a stand, invest in marginalised creators, and prove your words are backed by meaningful action. 


Imriel Morgan (Lead Author) – Founder and CEO, Content is Queen

Laura Blake (Editor)- Owner – UK Audio Network

​Renay Richardson- Founder of Broccoli Productions​

​Sarah Myles- Podcast Producer, Founder of Rise & Shine

Jessica Kupferman- CEO, She Podcasts

Helen Zaltzman- Podcaster

Jaja Muhammad- Podcast Producer

Ella Watts – Podcast Producer and Director, Doctor Who: Redacted and Six to Start

​Jason Phipps- Head of Development, Chalk and Blade

Ruth Barnes​- Co-Founder Chalk & Blade

Melissa Mbugua- Co-Director Africa Podcast Festival

Thomas Curry- Head of Podcasts, Vespucci

Hana Walker-Brown- Creative Director, Broccoli Productions

Axel Kacoutié- Audio Artist

Elsie Escobar- Co-Founder, She Podcasts

Francesca Turauskis, Digital Editor at Pod Bible, Founder of Tremula Network

Tash Walker – Co-Founder Aunt Nell

Shivani Dave – Co-Founder Aunt Nell

Adam Zmith – Co-Founder Aunt Nell

Laura Grimshaw- Freelance Audio Producer

Suze Cooper – Audio Producer

Naomi Mellor, Co-Founder Everybody Media and the International Women’s Podcast Awards 

Christina Moore- Founder, Don’t Skip

Arlie Adlington – Freelance audio producer, sound designer and mix engineer

Lisa Hack- Audio producer & educator Co-founder and organiser Multitrack

Bea Duncan- Senior producer, Broccoli Productions 

Steph Colbourn- Founder editaudio

If you support this message, we encourage you to spread the word using #SayLessDoMore. You can find a folder with our image and suggested social post ideas here.

Popular Podcast Genres – What The Stats Tell Us

During Q3-Q4 of 2022, Edison Research delved into the genres most likely to place a show in the top 200 charts in the U.S. In this article, we’re analysing the findings and what they mean for podcasters. So, let’s get into it. 

The research

Rather than simply totting up the different shows in the top 200, Edison Research calculated “batting averages” for each genre. They explained, “Baseball batting averages are calculated by dividing the number of hits into the number of at-bats; this podcast genre “batting average” is calculated by looking at the number of times a genre appears in the top 200 (its hits) divided by the number of times a genre appeared in the top 20,000 (its at-bats).” 

Here’s what they found: 

It’s worth noting that Edison also explained that “podcast averages are ‘low’ compared to baseball, and this is because there are so many more podcasts. In other words, if we look at the top one per cent of shows, an equal distribution would mean that 1% of the titles in that category should be in the top 200.”

Popular podcasting genres

As you can see from the results, true crime comedy and news dominate the charts regarding the number of shows and offer the best batting average. But that’s not to say they’re the best choice of genre to create a charting podcast. Take society & culture, for example, with 20 shows in the top 200. 

If you look at the top shows on the Spotify and iTunes charts in the U.K., you’ll see it’s similar to the U.S. with a mixed bag of genres, with pop culture featuring heavily in the top 20. 

A survey of 2,000 adults in the U.K. commissioned by Vodafone found that comedy (30%), entertainment (25%), sport (23%) and true crime (19%) were voted the most popular podcast genres overall. 

Here’s how other genres rank in the U.K.:

  • News 18%
  • Health and Fitness 16%
  • Politics 15%
  • Personal development 14%
  • Pop culture 14%
  • Drama 12%

What the research means for podcasters

But what do these findings mean for podcasters? Here are some key takeaways: 

  • Comedy shows dominate the charts, with a batting average of 2.7%. So, while it’s a saturated category, if you’ve got a great show, there’s a demand for comedy; this is reflected in both the U.S. and U.K. findings.
  • While you may think it’s best to opt for a show with less competition, such as T.V. & Film, Leisure or Education, these findings highlight a need for further research to ensure demand. 
  • Genres like science and history have less competition in the charts but good batting averages.
  • True crime and comedy are the most popular genres in the U.S. and among the top 4 in the U.K. The research suggests that listeners are turning to podcasting for escapism and entertainment. 
  • News podcasts also rank well in both countries as podcasting becomes a major news source; read more in our recent article

If you’re wondering which podcast genre you should lean into, there’s no definitive answer from these findings. So, whether you opt for a popular category with more competition or a less saturated genre that you can cut through more easily, podcasting success isn’t purely down to genre. 

Instead, the primary takeaway is this: there is demand for various genres in the U.S., U.K. and globally. When analysing data and charts, it’s clear to see listeners are looking for authenticity, relatable hosts, trusted voices, and predictability. So, here’s what you should be prioritising if you want your podcast to chart: 

  • A consistent release schedule
  • Reactive content
  • Know your genre inside out! 
  • Be authentic and relatable 
  • Understand your audience

Ready to rise through the ranks of podcasting? Join our inclusive podcasting community here.