Understand and Embrace Women’s Media Habits and Channels
Learn how women engage with media, including social media, movies, TV shows, music, reading, and podcasts.

October 18, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Senior Analyst

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Media is a major aspect of consumers’ everyday lives. Americans spend a significant amount of their time and attention consuming social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming content. For brands and advertisers across industries to succeed, they need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
Women Consumer Media Habits & Channels presentation.

Collage Group’s 2022 Media Habits and Channels Study provides insights on the specific platforms Americans go to, their media habits, and their preferences for media content. The data dives deep into content and platform drivers—spanning categories, passion points, and identity attributes. This report presents the data and insights through the gender lens.

Key Findings: Social Media

    • Social media serves as one of the keys to discovery and social connection. Women use online platforms to explore their personal interests and passions and stay in touch with their loved ones.
    • Women are slightly less concerned than men about the negative impact of social media on society. However, they are much more wary when it comes to personal priorities, like safety and privacy.

Context:

As women balance the positives and negatives of social media use, their Self-Caring Group Trait will likely guide them towards the types of interactions and platforms that justify their time, attention, and emotional investment.

Action Steps:

    • Be an empathetic, encouraging, and responsible owner of your social media channels. Content moderation and safety guidelines are paramount.
    • To amplify your brand’s presence in the noisy social media environment, sponsor or co-brand with popular social media content creators who appeal to women specifically.  As women seek inspiration and discovery online, your brand’s proximity can help boost lead generation.

Key Findings: Movies and Television

    • Women are not as enthusiastic about movies as they are about TV shows. Instead of watching a movie in a theater or even at home, many prefer binge-watching their favorite show.
    • There are notable genre preferences by gender. Across media, women enjoy comedy, drama, and suspense or thrillers more than men do. Meanwhile, action or adventure and sci-fi are more suited to men’s tastes in movies and TV.
    • Personal recommendations are the leading source of new content discovery for women. These viewers are also delighted to discuss movies and shows they watch with loved ones.

Context:

Women’s Self-Directed Group Trait helps explain why many women would rather string together a series of TV episodes instead of going to the movies. Watching at home offers greater control over content, timing, and personal safety. But this is not reclusive behavior. Socialization is embedded in the viewing experience: from discovery to post-watch lowdown sessions with friends.

Action Step:

    • Advertisers must collaborate with streaming TV providers to finetune technical ad execution to the streaming environment. The goal is a more seamless, subtle, and streaming-native ad experience.
    • Use the power of social listening and cultural trend insights to inform your brand’s creative strategy. Word of mouth and user-generated content related to popular movie and TV releases can be a powerful draw of women’s attention.

Key Findings: Music

    • For women, music is self-care. They often put on tunes to relax or lighten the load of their chores; they sing and dance along, which also helps lift their spirits.
    • Women are also less inclined to feel the pressure of developing or showing off their unique taste in music. Instead, they are more likely to go along with what’s currently popular.

Context:

Women lean into their Self-Care Group Trait by creating a safe and comfortable space in both physical and emotional places. In a fast-paced, news-cycle driven daily grind, busy women use music as a shortcut to respite.

While women’s relative disinterest in pursuing totally unique music interests is seemingly at odds with their Self-Directed Group Trait, it’s really a simple reminder that not every aspect of life demands the same investment of energy that’s required to assert one’s stance.

Action Step:

    • Be an extension of the listening experience, not a nuisance. Since desire to relax and recharge sets women’s listening experience apart, strive to match your tone, pace and the decibel level of the content that your ad or branded message may interrupt.
    • When designing your brand’s musical expression, lean into popular and trending tracks that have broad appeal. These will have a greater chance of resonating with women than more niche tunes will.

Key Findings: Reading

    • Despite the mainstreaming of digital and audio book formats, women still prefer the sensory experience of reading a print book. By extension, they’re also more likely to browse physical bookstores.
    • Women are drawn to fictional storylines, including novels, which lend themselves well to what women are looking for in a book: escape, relaxation, and entertainment.

Context:

Deep down, women’s attachment to physical print books is likely an expression of their desire for self-care. Book-in-hand, she can’t do chores or drive the carpool. A book provides the ultimate me-time, protected from external demands, expectations, or distractions. And preference for escapist, yet entertaining narratives is yet another manifestation of the Self-Caring Group Trait.

Action Steps:

    • Use brick-and-mortar bookstores and other retail locations as standalone media channels. Seize the opportunity to serendipitously get your brand’s message in front of consumers naturally primed for purchase.
    • Brands and products should aim to enhance women’s reading experiences and create a quiet retreat from the world.
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Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Analyst

Jill is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2018 graduate from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her spare time, Jill enjoys exploring Washington DC’s restaurant scene and practicing yoga.

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