Podcasts enable today’s fast-moving millennials to multi-task as one can listen to the content while performing routine tasks such as preparing a meal for, driving to the grocery store or taking a walk in the nearby park.
Radio has catered to widespread audiences in India for years, thanks to its accessibility and all-inclusive entertainment value.
One can easily tune in to a radio channel of one’s choice while driving to work and listen to a wide variety of songs and shows to rejuvenate themselves.
However, the traditional audio streaming industry in India still needs to look beyond its standard content, format and brand advertisements. Though radio is still the go-to for many Indian audiophiles, urban millennials are increasingly switching to podcasts for need-specific personalised content.
Reasons for the increase in affinity for podcasts
Podcasts, a series of spoken audio episodes focused on a particular theme/topic, can be played directly through the podcast’s website on the computer or a podcasting app on a mobile device (Android or iOS) to access wide-ranging content through headphones at any time of the day. One can also play these podcasts from one’s phone in the car through Bluetooth connection, an auxiliary cable or a smart speaker. In this way, podcasts are the new radio with no fixed streaming timings!
Also, podcasts enable today’s fast-moving millennials to multi-task as one can listen to the content while performing routine tasks such as preparing a meal for, driving to the grocery store or taking a walk in the nearby park. Podcasts offering comedy, sports updates, movie reviews or self-help tutorials, can easily slide into one’s busy schedule without demanding full attention and time. These are also free of chaotic repetitive brand endorsements and instead synchronise the brand message with their content flow, without interrupting user experience.
Additionally, podcast creation and aggregation platforms help consumers escape excessive information overload by offering content matching with their tastes and preferences. These platforms are AI-enabled and thus offer personalised content from all over the web in easily digestible pieces.
This enhances the end-user experience for audiophiles by helping them escape the fragmented content consumption that they have been accustomed to for many years. Not only consumers, but even advertisers also have a reason to celebrate as they can now monitor end-user experience and analyses the performance of their strategic campaigns all thanks to the data-driven approach employed by podcasts.
Emerging trends in India’s podcast industry: content for varying needs
The podcasting space in India has been growing with each passing day, as there is a cultural shift in the sensibilities of today’s urban educated youth that craves insightful, informative, well-researched content. However, the need for differentiated and enriching content is not a worry anymore, as today’s discerning consumers get to pick their favourites from a wide range of podcasts which are decidedly curated for varied preferences.
Popular podcasts range across those that bring together stand-up comedians, promote indie music culture, trace the origin of popular delicacies from various cuisines, update one on their favourite sports, as well as those that explore science, economics, psychology, politics, etc.
There are also podcasts featuring stories of Premchand, documenting Indian travel tales, encapsulating horror stories, etc. They not only connect listeners to their rich cultural roots but also fill their hearts with nostalgia by making them recall the lost stories of their childhood! In addition to informational podcasts, there are also podcasts which help one sleep at night with relaxing music and certified practitioners helping people meditate effectively.
Parents these days rarely find time from their busy schedules, there are podcasts that specifically cater to kids by performing classics as well as new bedtime stories every week. Parents can let their children enjoy performance-based retellings of fairy tales such as Snow White, Peter Rabbit, and original works as well. This can not only help reduce kids’ screen time, but also stir their imaginations with innovative stories curated particularly for facilitating their understanding and holistic growth.
The future of India’s podcasting space
The increasing penetration of smartphones in India has triggered a wave of podcast experiments, which has resulted in increasing response from consumers in different states.
In addition to Hindi and English, podcasts are available in an array of languages such as Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, etc. to cater to the needs of listeners from multiple geographies.
These podcasts in Indian regional languages bring together soulful songs from specific regions, recitations of religious books along with a deconstruction of their meaning, comedy series, etc. This ensures that there is easily accessible content for reaching audiences with distinctive cultural tastes and sensibilities.
The availability of insightful and informative content for diverse needs and desires helps to assure users of a rich experiential value derived from audio entertainment facilitated through podcasts.
Instead of surfing through numerous consumer entertainment channels, users can listen to anything they want whenever they want! However, not only are podcasts responding to changing consumer preferences, consumer sensibilities are also witnessing a revolution due to the forward-thinking, new-age content offered by dynamic podcasts.
Therefore, in line with the current growth curve, podcasts are set to penetrate more and more households, setting a new benchmark for India’s audio streaming industry.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)