Podcasts were long before popular in USA but it’s a new to some of us in India. With smartphones coming in, getting cassettes replaced by audio files and mp3 players, Video CD’s replaced by video players, we all know how media has always played a major role in our lives. Music apps, video apps, radio apps, news apps and various forms of social media have been revolving around the us and without which we may feel a bit bored and not understand what to do. Adding to the various forms of media today, podcast turns out to be one of the best alternative media, the generation needs. With so many podcasters today, future seems promising for the podcasting industry in India
What’s this podcast all about and how is the world changing towards it?
We all have known video series these days and how popular it is in todays world. We have switched our focus from episodic series played on the television to series played on YouTube, Netflix, Prime and many more. Podcasts are basically the audio episodic series. They are downloadable, and can allow to listen offline without the need of the internet or available online. These can be played on your smart phones, Tablets or laptops on a portable media player.
Technology is undoubtedly shaping every industry across the globe and podcast industry is no exception to this
Listening to podcasts has brought a major difference in many of us. By listening to various topics, you are broadening your horizons, especially push you in a way of thinking. You can learn a lot from them. They are the best alternatives to books and the best part is you get to listen whenever you want. They are definitely changing us for the better.
How did podcast become popular in India?
India is ranked the third in podcasting industry after USA and China. Currently 150 million Indians are estimated to consume audio streaming and represents a huge opportunity of growth for podcasts.
The majority of us may find the term Podcast very new as we are more prone to knowing radio as the audio streaming services. If you think, how this became popular, is also because most of us in India will call it Internet radio and audio shows and not podcasts.
The first ever longest running podcast in India was Indicast. It was started by Abhishek Kumar and Aditya Mhatre, in the year 2005.
Podcasting platforms in India has seen a amazing rate in all these years and anticipate that the Indian language internet users will reach a count of 536 million by 2021.
While USA is leading the market today, the medium is slowly reaching the Indians today. Globally, the industry is projected to reach 20 billion US dollars.
Recently a unique audio podcast platform was launched by AGRAHYAH TECHNOLOGIES on demand. Aawaz.com has over 200 hours of original content on Comedy, Devotional, Health and Lifestyle, Literature and many more reaching and empowering the masses, especially the Non English Internet Users. The aim is to push the generation to learn and grow through consuming the passive content while doing other tasks like driving, cooking etc.
The major brands like Bookmyshow, JioSaavan, MoneyControl and Indian Express have entered the industry making their roots stronger in the Indian Market.
But India still lacks awareness of the word “Podcast” today
Though the future seems promising, majority of the Indian population lacks awareness. How many of us today in India would know about smart speakers? Eg, Google Home, Or Amazon Alexa. Most of though. Reason being they are advertised to reach the masses across the globe. But how many of us actually know what a podcast is? I guess, less than the number of people who know of smart speakers today. And more importantly how many would know that Amazon Alexa plays podcasts. Hardly a few.
Do you know why we are still naïve about use the word “podcast”. It’s because majority of us listen to radio and not Internet radio. Well, how many of us actually know the difference here.
If we actually try to do a survey to check if people were interested in listening to music without much of a talking on radio stations against the radio stations that have more talking and less music, you will see, the first one gets more popularity. With the kind of population, we have in India, majority will be inclined to listening music than episodic series. But nevertheless, there is always a scope of bringing an awareness through various forms of media today to make the Indians aware of a different kind of audio streaming services. Currently the awareness today is very less.
If you try to look at the audience in other parts of the world, the radio shows are more popular than the television series. Where as in India, this is still holding a potential to grow as on today. Whatever it may be as on date, we are yet to see a major shift in the interest of podcasts amongst the Indian audience.
Reason why we see a huge opportunity in Indian Podcast Industry
A country that lets you voice your opinion, messages, conversations to entire nation on various content categories. This is where podcast comes out as a stronger platform welcoming different voices to convey things that educate and inform the people of our society along with promoting various brands.
The business model that the platform uses is easier ways to reach the masses. Unlike radio, which happens at a studio, podcast can be easily initiated at your home which makes it pocket friendly too. While this business model may cut down a lot of expenses in renting a studio, the podcasts can be generally expensive to spend on the quality it brings. Nevertheless, there are affordable and decent equipment’s that can bring along a good quality of podcasts too.
Another factor is that radio cannot be edited once it is broadcasted live, whereas podcast can be edited even after recording.
The podcasts can be accessible anytime via the internet and this makes it popular amongst the younger generation that likes to access information instantly.
The podcast can be of various niches. Thus, the listeners can subscribe to the category of podcasts they would like to hear and skip the ones that they would not want to. This feels more like a personalized way of listening to the content they’d like to hear.
Podcast have varied options to publish their content and that makes the content reach masses easily. These are easily available in apps like Spotify, ITunes, Saavan and many more which in turn brings us closer to wide consumer base and not restricted to one kind of platform.
They not only connect to the millennials today, but also to the older generation who loved listening to radio. As this kind of platform brings a variety of issues discussed today, the older generation can easily attach with the advanced form of radio.
What is required to improve the Indian Podcast industry?
We need to understand the importance of awareness when it comes to bringing a shift amongst the audience. Until each of us values the understanding of what a podcast can do to each of us, it becomes difficult in bringing this change amongst the people who go by listening to radio and binge video series more.
At the end of the day if the content is not good enough for the listener, the same will not be given much importance. So, it is the responsibility of the content maker to make sure the audience is finding it engaging and interesting enough to continue listening to the episodic series.
We need to help the amazing story tellers create better quality content by providing with the best business solutions so that they can monetize their content.
There is a huge opportunity to bring in a lot of regional content understanding that India is a land of diversity and the audiences hail from places with different languages and more contents can be categorically produced with different languages .
To conclude, podcasts are the new battlefield in audio streaming services and this article gives you a glimpse of the markets, India would make sooner or later categorically or demographically. What said and done, we would like to hear from the readers of what you think is changing the Indians in podcasting industry.