Future Of Podcasting In The Indian Media Landscape

Over 90 million Indians are now consuming audio content digitally, the number has grown from barely 25 million just a couple of years ago

The media industry is among the most dynamic businesses that are constantly evolving. From print to TV to digital, the evolution is ongoing.

When digital started to take off, most media houses realised its importance and found a way to create content for YouTube or social media and build their audiences on these platforms. The same strategy is starting to play out for audio as well.

What is the current situation?

Most major media houses have now established a presence in the audio space with daily offerings that highlight their core offerings. This is a new way for them to keep their audience connected. Combined with the normal consumption behaviour for audio content, this allows media publications to also have a presence in their audience’s life when reading or watching is not an option.

It is important to keep an eye on the opportunity: over 90 million Indians are now consuming audio content digitally. This number has grown from barely 25 million just a couple of years ago. The fastest growing demographic is the 17-25 year old who is looking for in-depth content and are happy to commit 20 minutes or more every time. Their ask? Quality of production and content.

Moving away from only news content is also starting to take shape, but this is a trend that will grow in the coming years.

Going forward, thesee are some key themes that will play out.

Localisation: Digital audio allows for consumption to happen at a local level. As audiences grow, creating and curating content that focuses on locations will grow. This will also help in the growth of audio-first creators the way video aided in discovering new talent.

Audio-first: Content that is conceptualised for audio-first is a growing trend. Unlike video, audio content is less complicated to produce and cheaper as well. This will allow for greater experimentation across genres, formats and even testing the market for what works. True Crime as a genre has already grown exponentially and is a News-led format. This will grow even more as audio allows for in-depth storytelling; something the genre demands.

Non-news: To reach out to younger audiences, influencer-led content will play a huge role. As existing creators realise the power of audio and the opportunity to build newer audience cohorts, they will take to audio. This has already started happening and is a trend that will only grow.

Monetisation: With all the above opportunities, monetisation is sure to follow. Advertising, sponsorship and branded content are already available in audio. With the increased availability of inventory, more advertisers will start considering audio actively. For media, as content becomes more brand safe, the opportunity for revenue also increases.

Tech Growth: Live audio that is then made available for consumption later will return as media houses realise the strength of audio. Another trend that will start gaining traction is the use of voice to initiate content interactions. Tools like Alexa, Google Voice and Siri are all showing signs of greater penetration and the ability to consume content on command will be a further driver in breaking through literacy barriers.

As the media landscape continues to evolve, the solutions that they find will also be specific to their asks. It’s still early days and the future is being written. It’s going to be a fascinating 2023 and beyond as the playbook evolves.

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