What you need to know if you want to be a podcaster in India

The author shares insights on the nitty-gritty of podcasting and explains what sets apart the amateurs from the pros.
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Podcast, a rising medium in India which is growing at a rapid rate of 58% each year. The consumption of podcasts during this lockdown has skyrocketed and hundreds of new podcast channels are being launched. Podcasting in India has still not reached its fullest potential and I still consider it to be in its very nascent stage.

The fact that we only have around 40-45 million podcast channels out of the 500 million active internet users supports my argument. The revenue from podcasts last year was expected to be around 900 million dollars and is expected to cross over a billion this year. And given the voraciousness with which podcasts are being consumed since the lockdown started, I would not be surprised if we had already crossed this number.

Today, companies as well as individuals are realising the power of podcasting and are starting their own podcast channels to either promote their business, service or create a personal brand. India is the third largest country to consume podcasts right after China and the US.

The number is growing as we are getting more digital and almost every household has multiple smartphones. This gives podcasters the potential opportunity to reach billions of people not just in India but across the globe.

The future of the podcasting industry looks very promising and now is probably the best opportunity to start your own podcast channel. From my own experience of running my podcast channel "The Growth Mindset with Silawath Irshad" for over a year and ranking one of top five podcast in India by Apple Podcast, I learned a few very important lessons that every podcaster or aspiring podcaster must know to become successful in this industry. Let me point out the top six things you must know if you want to become a podcaster in India.



1. It is a fresh new market and growth is huge

Podcast is a fairly new market and its huge potential is still untapped in India. Start early and dominate the space. First mover’s advantage is your best friend now. When you start early and are good at it, you can quickly move on to occupy the thought leadership position in the category.

2. Your podcast channel should excite you

Out of a million podcast channels out there in the world, you need to stand out. One of the key things that will help you do that is your passion, knowledge, thirst, and excitement for the subject of your podcast.

Imagine falling asleep in a lecture because of a boring approach taken up by a professor. Your listeners are not bound by attendance. They have the option to walk out of it and switch to another podcast.

Choose a format that works for your subject matter and find ways that pique your audience’s interest. Close your eyes and remove all other sensation and listen to your podcast. Does the sound/audio excite you? Will you return for a re-run?

Audio stories or films on radio were an amazing format that were a testament to human ingenuity. Think how they communicated rain, horror, sizzling pan, stroll through a park, moonlight?

3. Your equipment will be your biggest cost and your best investment

The clarity of your audio or balance of it is key to your podcast’s success. Your audience does not want to strain to hear your voice. Make it easy for them. Your voice equipment and editing will make all the difference.

My recommendations: Audio technica ATR 2100 or Blue Yeti Condenser Microphone

4. Content is King, Queen and Pawn

This is the golden rule. Your content will define your audience, numbers and popularity. Curate it with complete devotion to your theme. Be brutal about it.

My recommendations: The school of greatness by Lewis Howes, The Tim Ferris Show, Impact Theory by Tom Bilyue

5. Consistency will define your success

Out of the million podcast channels out there, around 50% of the podcast channels are not even active. They would have just posted a few episodes initially and after a few weeks they stopped because they didn't see immediate results.

Just like any other media, growing a podcast will also take time. It is a process that will require patience to build trust and credibility with your audience. You don't create a loyal listener base in 2-3 months, it can take years.

Consistency will win you an audience… one listener at a time. Ask any popular influencer you follow. See the pattern?

6. You can start with zero investment

If you are not ready to make an investment and just want to test the waters, then you can start a podcast channel with just your smartphone and internet connection. Yes, it is as simple as that. Open source software editing tools are also available to add some pizzazz to it. Starting a podcast channel has never been easier. So, get started today.

My recommendations: Audacity App for Windows and Garageband for Macs

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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