How India jumped onto the podcast bandwagon

Though India may have been late to jump onto the bandwagon, the podcasting revolution has finally arrived in the country. As the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic confined people to their homes, the audio medium became extremely popular across the country. People turned to podcasts, which covered topics across genres and catered to a wide variety of audiences.

In this ET Play podcast titled ‘Audio Evolution to Podcasting Revolution’, host Anirban Chowdhury is in conversation with Dhruvank Vaidya, Head of Podcasts at Spotify India and Rohit Ohri, Chairman & CEO at FCB Group India. The episode dwells on how podcasts are becoming popular across India, as the speakers debate if this is just another transient trend or a more long-lasting development that is here to stay. 

Growing demand for Indian content

As the speakers pointed out, the podcasting revolution in India is being fuelled by a growing demand for more Indian content. Vaidya says while Spotify has some of the best global content from reputed publications across the world, the podcasts that are doing well have a lot of local contexts. And alongside Hindi, there is a growing market for podcasts in regional languages.

He also points out that among different genres, fiction has always been among the chartbusters. Another interesting growing trend is to invite social media influencers to generate content for the platform.

Keeping listeners hooked on

The good thing about podcasts is that it covers lots of genres, thereby ensuring that there is something for everyone. Episodes on news or where experts discuss important topics are also extremely popular. This is the reason why almost all streaming platforms now have a dedicated section for podcasts.

But keeping listeners hooked on can be a challenge in an age where attention spans are shortening and short videos on TikTok or Instagram Reels are a rage. And that is where the challenge of creating good content for every genre comes in. The real challenge is to create rich, well-researched content that caters to every interest group.

Economics of podcasts:

With the popularity of podcasts on the rise, advertisers now consider this to be a lucrative space to earn money. There is also a lot of demand for brand content as podcasts are now used to raise awareness of social issues. And all of this makes sense because the production costs for podcasts are significantly less than compared to video content.

Though it is perhaps too early to speculate on whether the popularity of podcasts is just another transient trend, the speakers believe that there are a lot of uncharted territories yet to be explored. It is true that fiction remains the most popular genre among podcasts in India. But education and learning are among the many areas which can be explored in further detail. And as the scope of audio content starts getting wider, its popularity is also likely to soar to greater heights soon. 

For more interesting news updates and in-depth discussions on current affairs, log on to ET Play now and get listening!


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