Plug in headphones, scroll through podcast lists like Spotify, Audible, Gaana, or select one in your telecom network’s app. Choose ‘Horror Stories’ and a man’s calm voice tells you about his experiences while driving down a desolate road …
In the past year or so, the pandemic has hooked India to audio media, especially podcasts. Many use their previous commute times to listen to discussions about an issue, clinging to this more immersive and intimate platform. And, unlike a video option where you have the gallery view of watching the characters talking to each other, in an audio medium, you feel like the person on the other end of the phone is having a conversation with you or telling a story just for the sake of it. you, one reason for its growing popularity, experts say.
“… We are all very tired with the video. People are looking for a little bit of change and podcasts, because of their very nature of being a medium that you can use while you are doing something else, in a way helps people change, ”said Amarjit Singh Batra, Director general, Spotify India.
The audio streaming platform has 2.5 million tracks worldwide and Batra claims India’s podcast catalog is the “deepest.”
The growth of the Indian market is “not far” from the 20% increase that Spotify is seeing globally, he said, adding: “Parents are weaning their children off tablets and putting them on Spotify, listening to great music. or podcasts to kind of balance it out. “
A PwC report valued podcast advertising in India at $ 26 million and expects it to grow 41% annually to reach $ 89 million by 2025.
The podcast in India sees the high adoption rate that video streaming platforms and OTT experienced a few years ago, according to experts.
“We launched in January 2019 with 100 hours of programming content… today we have 1,300 hours of content in four languages across 22 genres,” said Sreeraman Thiagarajan, co-founder of Agrahyah Technologies who runs aawaz.com, a audio network and podcast.
Humor, thriller / horror, devotional programs, and storytelling are some of the most popular genres on Aawaz. The platform plans to deepen regional language content and add more languages to current content in English, Hindi, Urdu, and Marathi.
An executive at telecommunications company Bharti Airtel said during the pandemic, users turned to podcast genres like health, wellness and spirituality, giving the podcast offering a further boost. Recently, Wynk, Airtel’s music app, added 4,000 podcasts with 40,000 episodes to accompany the library of approximately 14 million songs.
Content in regional languages should be the backbone of audio streaming platforms, according to industry players.
“A change is happening and I hope that someday we will actually see less than 10% of podcasts in English and 90% in local languages,” says Spotify’s Batra. A regional podcast boom is happening and early adopters include content creators in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu, he says.
Music and Podcast Streaming Gaana has partnered with top content creators such as comedian Zakir Khan, actors Rannvijay Singha, Sunny Leone and global partners such as Libsyn in an effort to expand its podcast library and retain the public. Gaana is owned by Times Internet, which is part of Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, which also publishes The Economic Times.