Priyanka Mehra, Director - Marketing & Communications, Havas Group India, 0
Podcasts are here to Stay
When the Prime Minister of your country uses podcasts to relay his Mann ki Baat to the masses, it certainly is a big indicator that voice consumption and more so podcasts as a form of content consumption are only going to grow. It is not only Shri Narendra Modi who prefers to share his ‘Mann ki Baat’ via podcast but an increasing number of Indians too are spending hours of their time listening and engaging with podcasts.
Engaging Content on the Go
In fact, the Indian Podcast Listener Statistics in 2018 found that among all Indians who listen to podcasts, 77 percent do so on their smartphones, mostly while commuting. As the daily commute takes significant time of their daily lives, today consumers prefer listening to podcasts as they are accessible and moreover offer a wide range of diversified content ranging from news, cookery shows, politics, comedy, mythology, drama and more. Today, it is not only about content that is engaging and relevant but also about content that can be consumed ‘on the go’, in a seamless and non- intrusive manner.
Consumers like you and me with every minute accounted for, in a world of packed schedules and ‘let me check my calendar first’ still want to gain knowledge, enjoy entertainment as well as catch up on worldly affairs while we are shuttling from home to work and vice versa. It is also an increasingly common phenomenon to listen to podcast during ‘workout’ and rejuvenation time, here is where the advantage of audio over video clearly shows as it allows you to continue with your primary activity and can be consumed in a seamless and non-intrusive manner. It is no wonder then that now almost all news as well as music streaming platforms have their own podcasts.
While podcasts already enjoy a large share of audience in markets like the US, India is also fast catching up. Factors like our Internet usage exceeding half a billion people for the first time, pegged at 566 million, driven by the increase in usage in the rural areas according to a report by Kantar IMRB ICUBE and 97 percent of these users are accessing the internet through mobiles further hasten this catch up.
As the daily commute takes significant time of their daily lives, today consumers prefer listening to podcasts as they are accessible and moreover offer a wide range of diversified content
According to PwC report, India is the world’s third-largest podcast listening market (after China and the US), although it ranks much lower on a per capita basis. Growth is set to continue over the forecast period with listener numbers set to increase at a 34.5 percent CAGR to 17.61 crore by 2023. The report also states that the total number of listeners of Podcasts in India has increased to 40 million at the end of 2018 as opposed to 25.4 million in 2017.
While democratization of data consumption thanks to Telecom operators like Jio, make data consumption more accessible to all parts of the country, if you think about it India also always been big on audio consumption right from our Prasar Bharti days so podcasts only seems like a natural progression. Entry of players like Spotify has only made this space more exciting, and endorsed that global players recognise the potential the Indian market has for growth.
A Marketing Opportunity
Given this scenario podcasts are a great medium for brands to tap into an already engaged audience, defined by what they are listening to. However, given the fact that the non-intrusive nature of the medium is what gives it its edge, intrusive marketing is certainly a big no! At the same time, audio podcasts make for a great story telling medium, one wherein brands can build in narratives beautifully going with the theme of the show/ category. One route to reaching audiences via podcasts is branded content, where brands see a direct fitment to their brands. With the awareness and consumption of podcasts fast spreading it is only a matter of time wherein they will garner a large interest from the marketing community.