VOICES MAGAZINE PUSHPESH PANT GAUTAM CHINTAMANI DAMYANTI BISWAS SHEILA KUMAR AMAR BHUSHAN SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV BUFFET PEOPLE WELLNESS BOOKS FOOD ART & CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT NEW DELHI JUNE 28 2020 SUNDAY PAGES 12 With many parts of India still in quarantine, people are turning to podcasts like never before for entertainment and knowledge. Has the country’s podcast industry moved from niche to mainstream? She Says She’s Fine by Dr Munjaal V Kapadia The podcast discusses the experiences women face, the barriers they break, and the ability to rise amidst it all Maha Bharat with Dhruv Rathee This delves deep into how things in India actually work. Aimed at the youth, it discusses how police cases are filed; what the RBI does; and more. Roshan Abbas, multi-faceted media personality, and managing director of Geometry Encompass, believes brands are advertising but the money spent is still for a niche top-end audience 4 crore Lend Me Your Ears podcast listeners in India in 2018, as per a PwC report, a 57.6% growth compared to the previous year T 85% of IVM* listeners heard their first podcast in 2016 50% jump in podcast consumption at Spotify India during lockdown 35-40% increase in use of storytelling podcasts at Hubhopper in the last two months 40-50% increase in podcast uploads on Hubhopper during lockdown POPULAR CATEGORIES Health & Fitness Comedy Society & Culture Spiritual & Devotional News *IVM: Indus Vox Media Motivational By SMITHA VERMA he foot-tapping music lights up his eyes. It runs for a second or two and sets the tone for the next 20 minutes. Aayaan V Saad, an eight-year-old from Noida, is listening to his favourite podcast But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids. The current episode is about fishes. Kids his age have asked the podcast host a variety of questions—how do fishes sleep, how can they see underwater without goggles, why they can’t breathe out of water? Aayaan wants to learn it all so that he can, in turn, quiz his grandmother about the underwater world of fishes. “I get to learn so much from podcasts. My mom doesn’t let me watch TV but she doesn’t say no to listening to them,” he says about his favourite podcast. Mother Vidhi Bhargava nods in agreement. She introduced Aayaan to podcasts when “Alexa ran out of jokes” for him. “The biggest concern for all parents these days is that children watch too much television. Keeping them engaged is an equally big challenge. Happily, podcasts do both,” she says. What are podcasts and how do they work? What makes them so popular? What does the phenomenal growth in podcasts mean? Simply put, a podcast is a subscribed audio programme available on your smartphone where hosts speak about diverse subjects, often accompanying music—the advantage is that you can listen to them whenever and wherever, including in your car which makes information available hands-free. The length doesn’t matter—they can be either an hour-long with interviews or simply short takes. They can be posted daily or monthly or weekly You upload your audio file . aka audio blog to a website and allow it to be subscribed to via an RSS feed and presto! You have a podcast. The coronavirus has forced people to stay at home, away from offices, businesses, schools and colleges forcing people to work from home and consume extra screen time on streaming platforms. Even after offices have opened, the podcast habit has remained with most listeners. “The learning is a bonus,” says Vidhi, editor with a publishing house. India is the world’s third largest podcast listening market and as per a PwC report, the number of listeners is going to rise from four crore in 2018 to 17.61 crore in 2023. India’s music, radio and podcasts market was worth `5,753 crore in 2018 and could hit upwards of `10,000 crore by 2023. And according to a 2019 report by Deloitte, globally podcasts could be a $3.3 billion-plus business by 2025. The growth of podcasts, while not displacing TV and print, is no doubt challenging established communication mediums with a rise in revenue. With global music giants such as Apple and Spotify entering the business, the global podcasting market will increase by 30 percent to reach $1.1 billion in 2020, as per a Deloitte industry report. While Aayaan wants to impress his grandmother, Alex Mathew is brushing up on his professional skills. “I read a lot of articles on marketing, cars, bikes and design. With podcasts, I realised I could listen to them while multitasking such as doing mundane chores at home or driving to work and so on,” says Alex, a 34-year-old marketing manager with a technology research firm in Gurugram. He enjoys short content creation, podcasts are booming, thanks to people working from home and looking for content that doesn’t strain the eyes. PODCASTS & PANDEMIC “People listen to podcasts even while doing household chores or as a break from boring webinars. When I started in 2008, I had to explain to people what podcasts meant. Now they know it as Netflix for the ears.” Chhavi Sachdev, Founder, Sonologue podcasts since the information is “well-packaged with actionable insights”. Alex lists Marketing School by Neil Patel and Eric Siu, and Car Talk as his favourite podcasts. “It’s like a lecture, but of the interesting kind,” he adds. Podcast is the new radio. Only it is on-demand unlike FM. When much of the world went into lockdown in April and May , millions of people enthusiastically took to podcasts. In April, Apple announced that it had more than one million shows on Apple Podcasts. While Apple dominates the podcast market, the entry of platforms such as Pandora, Castbox and Spotify shows the popular, ity of the medium. According to Acast, one of the world’s largest global podcasting companies, the demand for comedy went up by 24 percent during the lockdown and education had a 20 percent increase. Episodes with ‘corona’ or ‘Covid’ in the title were downloaded over 27.5 million times globally . “In current times, people are looking for a daily escape from the visual chaos through audio experiences, which can be taken along during daily activities,” says Amarjit Singh Batra, managing director-India, Spotify The company . has seen a 50 percent jump in podcast consumption. Users worldwide have been streaming news, health and fitness, and children and family content. Podcasts with the words “cooking” or “recipes” in the title or description have become more popular recently says , Amarjit. In the world of During the lockdown, Hubhopper—one of India’s largest podcast creation, hosting, and distribution platform—recorded 35-40 percent increase in storytelling. “We’ve seen a remarkable jump on our platform across genres,” says Nishant Kumar, head of sales and partnerships, Hubhopper. There are several reasons why podcasts are here to stay Listening to them isn’t . restricted to commute timings anymore. It’s a great on-demand medium to tune into while multitasking. “People listen to podcasts while doing household chores or as a break from boring webinars,” says Chhavi Sachdev, podcaster and founder, Sonologue, a Mumbaibased audio production house. “When I started out in 2008, I had to explain to people what podcasts meant. Now they know it as Netflix for the ears,” says Chhavi, who also offers consultancy and is a podcast coach. “Podcasting has become the popular medium to easily churn out fresh, exciting and new content. Moreover, this can be done while observing the necessary coronavirus norms,” says Mae Thomas, founder, Maed in India, a production and consultancy firm. So with more people working from home and staring at their smart devices for longer periods than before, consumers turned to podcasts. “Last month our Facebook community of podcasters went up from 400 members to 800,” says Bijay Gautam, host of the popular show Inspiring Talks. Dozens of the new podcasts centre on the pandemic. “We’ve added a dedicated carousel in several languages to connect people to podcasts and help them understand the virus’s Turn to page 2 “In current times, people are looking for a daily escape from the visual chaos through audio experiences that they can carry along as part of their different everyday activities.” Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director-India, Spotify
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