Listener Survey Results from the Women in Archaeology Podcast

By Chelsi Slotten

This spring we put together a podcast listener survey with the goal of getting some feedback and learning more about what our audience wants. This was done to make sure that we continue creating content that appeals to you, our listener. A huge thank you to everyone who participated. This would not have been possible without you.

We were hoping to get 20 responses. We were thrilled to receive 27 responses during the two weeks the survey was open. You’ll find some of the key results below. Don’t forget to keep your eyes and ears out for new content shaped by your responses.

Question 1: Have you ever listened to a archaeology themed podcast?

20 respondents have listened to an archaeology podcast and 7 have not. This is great because it means we’ll learn about what current listeners and future listeners are interested in hearing on our show!

Podcast Listener Survey results for question 1. 20 respondents have listened to an archaeology podcast before and 7 respondants have not.

Question 2: If yes, what has been your experience with archaeology podcasts? Are there particular things you like or dislike about them?

The freeform text box allowed respondents to engage with this question in a variety of ways. Several people mentioned how great it was to hear from different people in the field. Respondents noted that podcasts are a great way to keep up with what is going on in the field of archaeology. Others enjoyed learning about how archaeology interacts with wider world events. They also recognized the value of being able to hear a variety perspectives. One response that very well summed up the responses was “I like the way that podcasts can modernize the discussion, emphasizing diversity.” Shout out to The Dirt Podcast who got a special mention in one of our replies!

Participants brought up two points of improvement. The first one was too much use of jargon in some archaeology podcasts. As listeners of our show should be aware we define terms when we bring them up, but we’ll be extra careful about that moving forward. You also mentioned that guests or hosts can occasionally talk too fast. I know I do when I’m super excited about something. We’ll work on that too to make sure our episodes are as clear as possible. If you ever struggle to understand part of the show, you can always check our transcriptions page. We’re working to get transcripts out for each episode. If you want or need a transcript of a specific episode just let us know and we’ll prioritize it!

Question 3: Have your podcast listening habits changed with covid?

Slightly less than half of the respondents, or 13 people, reported listening to more podcasts in the last year, while 4 people reported listening less. Eight individuals reported no change in their listening habits. The 2 people who replied with ‘other’ mentioned that they were listening to different shows in different ways as result of covid life changes. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that covid has definitely affected podcast listening habits.

Podcast Listener Survey results for question 3. 13 individuals are listening to more podcasts. 4 individuals are listening to 2 podcasts, and 8 people's podcast listening habits haven't changed. 2 respondents replies with other.

Question 4: How long do you usually spend listening to podcasts in a single sitting?

Most respondents listen to an hour or less of a podcast every time they put one on. Five respondents listen for 1-2 hours at a time, and only 2 respondents listen more than two hours at a time. Not going to lie, we’re feeling pretty happy that this podcast records its shows in three 20 minute segments per episode. Hopefully that means our shows are easy to listen to and work with your listening habits.

Podcast Listener Survey results for question 4. 7 respondents listen for less than 30 minutes at a time.  13 respondents listen to podcasts for between 30 minutes and 1 hour at  a time. 5 respondants listen to 1-2 hours at a time and 2 respondents listen for more than 2 hours at a time.

Question 5: Please rank these topics from most to least that you are most interested in hearing more about.

The topics we asked respondents to rank were: interviews with guests about their work, stories from the field, practical advice for archaeological practitioners, the intersection of archaeology and current events, and archaeological history and theory. Interviews with guests was far-and-away the most popular type of show we record, followed by stories from the field. The two least popular types of shows we’ve recorded are those with practical advice and ones about archaeology history and theory. Message received, we’ll record more interviews and stories from the field. Shows about archaeology and current events was solidly middling- some people like hearing it, other don’t. We’ll probably keep recording some of those shows because it’s important to be aware of how archaeology is being used to shape current events and perceptions.

Podcast Listener Survey results for question 5. Listeners top most ranked topics were interviews with guests and stories from the field.  Survey respondents were the least interested in hearing about practical advice, and history and theory,

Question 6: Are there other topics, or specific guests you would like to hear on the show?

You all had so many amazing ideas and we are so excited to record these shows! Seriously, thank you for your suggestions on our podcast listener survey. We’re excited to reach out to the people you want to hear from. Several respondents asked for a show on archaeology and disability and you’ll be happy to hear we’ve already got that in the works.

Several responses also mentioned the importance on creating more episodes about inclusiveness and diversity in the field. As you may or may not know, this podcast was created to ensure that diverse voices were highlighted in archaeology. We take that commitment seriously. One of the best things you can do to support diversity in archaeology is to support diverse practitioners of archaeology. The Black Trowel Collective works to support archaeologists from working-class and historically marginalized communities. If you’ve got the means, consider donating money to them so they can continue supporting the people who need it. If you don’t have extra cash to spare make sure you make space in discussions for diverse voices and don’t speak over them. We’ll work to share more resources with you on how to promote inclusiveness and diversity.

We love that you care about diversity and inclusion. Keep it up and we can make the field a better place!

Final Thoughts

The last question we asked was open ended and wow did you all make our day. Thank you to everyone for recognizing the work we put into this show. We do it to make the field a better place and to provide a platform for archaeologists to get their work out to a broader audience. We’re thrilled to know you enjoy listening and hope we can continue to entertain and inform for years to come.

We do love hearing from you! Thank you again to those who participated in our podcast listener survey. As a result, we got some really good insights and have learned how to better meet your needs.

As always if you have feedback or ideas for the podcast, we’d love to hear them! Email your thoughts to us at womeninarchaeology@gmail.com or reach out to us on Twitter.

If you love what we do and want to help support us please consider donating on patreon. We’re a self-funded group and every little bit helps us create better content, improve our audio, and increase our accessibility by helping fund transcription costs.

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