Data Around the Crime Genre

Goals

  • To learn about who engages the most with the crime genre in films, TV, podcasts, books, and any other form of media by completing demographic and psychographic profiles of Americans who enjoy the crime genre.

Early Findings

  • In a 2019 Civic Science survey of over 2,000 US residents, 40% of respondents reported being somewhat interested in reading or watching true crime stories for entertainment purposes while 22% reported being very interested.
  • Of those respondents, 12% reported watching true crime television shows or documentaries "very often," 28% reported watching them "from time to time," and 9% stated that while they don't currently watch true crime shows or documentaries, they were interested in them.
  • According to the results of this survey, women watch more true crime television than men, with 16% of women watching these shows "very often," (compared to 13% of men) while 35% watch them "from time to time," (compared to 32% of men).
  • Over 2,500 Americans were asked which streaming platform they used to watch true crime television and 22% named Netflix as their primary source for true crime entertainment while 11% named Amazon Prime.
  • On television, ID (Investigation Discovery), a network dedicated to true-crime programming, is the most popular source of true crime entertainment.
Podcasts
  • According to the Civic Science survey, 5% of respondents reported listening to true crime podcasts "very often" while 6% reported listing to them "from time to time."
  • Women make up nearly 75% of true-crime podcast listeners.
  • This represents a reversal in listening preferences as men previously listened to these types of podcasts more. In 2008, the percentage of men listening to true crime podcasts was 25% greater than the percentage of women. In 2017, it was 12% higher.

Books
  • Women's preference for the crime genre extends beyond television to books. According to a 2015 Harris poll of readers, “mystery, thriller and crime” books were read by women more than men. The survey also found that women were over 46% more likely to have read a true crime book than men.
Summary of the Finding Relevant to the Research
  • Our initial hour of research found statistical data related to Americans who are interested in the crime genre. We found that ethnic data related to reading and viewing content belonging to the crime genre is interwoven with demographic and psychographic data and will address it within those requests.

Proposed next steps:

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we suggest research to develop a demographic profile of the average consumer of content in the crime genre (films, television, documentaries, books, and podcasts). For this profile, we will provide One: Age, Two: gender, Three: income level, Four: educational level, and Five: race/ethinicity. If we are unable to find one or more of these demographic categories, we will substitute them with another such as marital status, occupation types, and/or family size. We also propose research to complete a psychographic profile of content in the crime genre (films, television, documentaries, books, and podcasts). For this profile, we will provide One: habits, Two: hobbies, Three: spending habits and Four: values. These psychographic categories will help provide a picture of the general interests of US residents who consume content in the crime genre (films, television, documentaries, books, and podcasts) If we are unable to find any of these psychographic categories, we will substitute them with another such as consumer attitudes, affinities, emotions, likes, or dislikes.
Additionally, we suggest research into the impact crime/true crime podcasts are having on the criminal justice system. We will look for 2-3 examples of when a podcast has helped solve a case or impacted or changed the outcome of a case (for example, proving someone convicted of the crime was actually innocent). For each, we will provide the name of the podcast, a description of the crime, the name(s) of the person who was the subject of the podcast, the location where the crime and trial occurred (state or city & state), and the outcome of the podcast (what impact did it have, what changed as a result of it).