- Procter & Gamble, iHeartRadio and the Seneca Women Podcast Network this week premiered a 100-episode podcast series about diverse women who have had a positive effect on society. "Seneca's 100 Women to Hear" first appeared on Aug. 18 to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting American women the right to vote, according to an announcement.
- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, Grameen America CEO Andrea Jung, soccer star Abby Wambach, All in Together co-founder Lauren Leader, poet Amena Brown and author Austin Channing Brown are among the women featured in the podcast. Seneca Women co-founders Kim Azzarelli and Melanne Verveer, the first U.S. ambassador for global women's issues, and Sharon Bowen, the first African American commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, co-host the series.
- Seneca Women, a global women's leadership platform, is posting new episodes every day until Aug. 26, which marks Women's Equality Day. After the first nine episodes, "Seneca’s 100 Women to Hear" will appear every Tuesday and Thursday on the iHeartPodcast Network, which has more than 750 original podcasts with more than 215 million downloads a month, per the announcement.
P&G's sponsorship of "Seneca's 100 Women to Hear" podcast builds on the company's broader efforts to support diversity, inclusion and gender equality, while capitalizing on the growing consumer interest in streaming audio content. The owner of brands including Crest, Gillette, Pampers and Tide has a long history of sponsoring programming aimed at women, and its marketing has evolved to reflect societal shifts and changing media consumption.
P&G in January became the launch sponsor of the Seneca Women Podcast Network as the women's leadership group sought to ensure that women's voices were better represented in the podcasting space. At that time, the group cited research indicating that about half of all podcast listeners are women, but fewer than half of on-air voices were female.
Two months later, Seneca Women signed a multiyear partnership deal with iHeartMedia to produce and distribute women-focused podcasts. They announced the collaboration as part of the celebration of Women's History Month and International Women's Day. Seneca Women and iHeartMedia co-produce the podcast series "Seneca's Here's Something Good," "Made by Women" and "Conversations on Power and Purpose."
While podcasting listenership fell at the outset of pandemic lockdowns and as fewer people commuted to work, there are signs that engagement is again on the rise. The U.S. podcast audience this year will expand 15% to 105.6 million listeners and grow by 9.5% to 115.6 million in 2021, eMarketer forecasts. That growth will drive a 45% gain in U.S. podcast ad spending to $1.13 billion next year, and an 18% increase to $1.33 billion in 2022, according to the researcher.
P&G, the world's biggest advertiser by media spend, has prioritized diversity and inclusion in many of its recent marketing efforts, including those aimed at women. The company last year collaborated with Hello Sunshine, actress Reese Witherspoon's media company, to develop content inspired Eve Rodsky's bestselling book "Fair Play."
P&G's Super Bowl ad for Olay this year featured an all-female cast, acknowledging that 45% of NFL fans are women. On the business end, the company recently acquired Billie, a direct-to-consumer marketer of women's shaving products, and feminine product maker This Is L. amid an expansion in purpose-driven offerings.