Follow

Why Podcasts?

The word podcast was 1st coined in 2004, where ‘pod’ came from iPod and ‘cast’ came from broadcast. In a nutshell, a podcast is a digitally accessible, on-demand audio show. Over the past decade and a half, we’ve seen this word give birth to not just a community but also a thriving industry world over. Needless to say, it has gone well beyond the confines of being owned by one entity. As a result, in US alone, the number of podcast listeners increased by 12 million in 2018 and the advertising revenue is expected to grow to over a billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2021.

India has the world’s 3rd largest podcast-listening market after China & the US. However, for us Indians, podcasting is an old wine in a new bottle. From the Vedic times, where dissemination of information was designed to be imparted aurally, to the stories we’ve grown up listening to, courtesy our grandparents, we have always been an audio-first country.

Now, why podcasts or rather, why not radio? While radio is a broadcast medium, where we have to wait for our favorite shows, which if we miss we can’t catch anywhere else; podcasting is on-demand, archival and cyclical. It is an intimate medium where the audio shows are specifically designed to cater to our tastes. To make things simpler, let’s ask ourselves – at the end of the day, do we access cable TV or our favorite OTT platforms to catch the shows we’ve been dying to watch? If the answer is the latter, we are all on the same page.

In India, the tentative monthly podcast listenership is about 40 million, with 60% of the listenership from metros, 30% from mini-metros and 10% from the rest of the country. It’s expected to rise up to about 170 million by 2023. Larger players in our country like BBC World Services, Quint, Express Audio, Audible Suno, Suno India, IVM etc. are investing in this industry as well. Having produced 80+ podcasts with a listenership of about 2 million in all of 3 months, HT Smartcast happens to be the fastest-growing podcast publishers amongst them. From Spotify to Hubhopper to KUKU.FM, they are present on about 25 different distribution platforms. HT Smartcast tries to cater to all of its listeners.

For Instance, there is Crazy for Kishore. This podcast comes from the heart and soul of Bollywood – its music. Hosted by Amit Kumar and Sumit Kumar, sons of legendary Kishore Kumar it covers the madness of the then music industry and intimate untold stories of the legend himself.

Then there is Mint Techcetra, which is a quirky little podcast packed with all-encompassing information from the ever-changing world of Tech. Here our resident tech-expert, not only talks about all that’s new in this world but also busts myths around technology. Something India desperately needs.

To cater to the Millennials, who currently make up for most of HT Smartcast’s listenership, they produced The Millennial Mind. It aims to find out what’s going on with the youth of India, and attempts to answer what Gen Y actually wants for a happy life.

These are just a few examples from the diverse pool of content HT Smartcast produces. To listen to more such interesting podcasts log on to www.htsmartcast.com. And don’t forget to write to us at podcasts@hindustantimes.com, for any suggestions or even collaborations.

Happy Listening!