It's Never Too Late To Have Your Own Podcast
Podcasts set to enter the mainstream audio entertainment industry, offer varied and authentic new-age content
Breaking free of the confines of the mindless chatter of lacklustre advertising campaigns and dull and drab audio entertainment is the refreshing, hyper-localized and ground-breaking world of podcasts. Podcasts are a new-age resort for urban millennials, streaming easily accessible audio episodes which offer immersive consumer-specific content covering an array of topics. Podcasts, then, offer never-seen-before ease, accessibility and power of choice to consumers. One can now let their favourite comedians push them off their chair, seek expert self-help advice for channelizing their mind or simply unwind with their favourite melodies; all while carrying out their day-to-day activities.
Therefore, the podcast revolution is a natural fit for today’s evolved millennials who want to control the quality, timing and diversification of their content consumption. With the increase in smartphone penetration, more and more listeners in the 12-54 age bracket across multiple geographies are accessing podcasts for their daily dose of stand-up comedy, news highlights, political debates etc.
The podcasting boom, however, has not happened overnight and the industry’s remarkable growth can be credited to a plethora of trends emerging in the dynamic space.
1) The emergence of varied podcast formats
The new binge-stop for millennials’ varied preferences, podcasts come in different content formats with distinctive offerings. While podcasts initially followed the radio show format with a panel of 2-3 people, novel formats have emerged with the medium’s evolution. Consumers can choose from an array of storytelling podcasts (fictional and non-fictional), engage in podcast theatre featuring stellar voice artists, or simply listen to an educational and conversational series (interview/ Q & A format). Additionally, podcasts may have multiple hosts or simply feature enriching monologues. Podcasts also let people record and share their original stories! Sticking to a particular content format ensures consistent traction; for instance, audiences start developing a connection with the host of an interview series and anticipate his/her engagement with a new celebrity in each successive episode.
2) Content categories for adults and children alike
In addition to covering mass-appealing comedy series, scientific discussions, cultural insights, sports updates, motivational talks etc., there is a range of podcasts specifically curated for children which cover myths, legends, and folklore from around the world. These podcasts give kids a chance to learn about knights, wizards, dragons, princesses and animals; bringing them alive through the power of innovative storytelling. There are also podcasts for curious children which explore climate change, human brains, space travels etc.
3) Qualitative content in Indian regional languages
With better data speeds and an increasing number of local content creators, there is a variety of indigenous podcasts curated for catering to region-specific consumer preferences. Consumers can now listen to comedy scenes in Malayalam from popular movies and social networking sites, get their dose of tech-related talk in Tamil and access audio versions of children's stories in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and English. Now anyone from any state, city or district within India can find content in their local languages which is layered with cultural nuances, understanding and variation.
4) Multi-platform hassle-free experiences
A disruptive new-age media, podcasting enables a multi-platform user experience as many podcasters upload their content on multiple platforms, such as YouTube, Sound Cloud, Apple iTunes Store etc. While earlier people streamed or downloaded podcasts from their websites, the hassle-free modern-day method is to simply download a podcasting app on one’s Android or iOS device. Most apps offer a comprehensive library of podcasts in an easy-to-layout format to facilitate user ease. Once you subscribe to a podcast, many apps will automatically download its latest episodes. Thus podcasts offer the boon of offline engagement to listeners by travelling with them wherever they go! Additionally, one can listen to their favourite audio shows through numerous music streaming services which are increasingly adding podcasts to their offerings.
5) Podcast advertising trends
Offering brands a competitive advantage, podcasting is not just a trend but a solid business model. Podcasts have a looser framework around the ad spot guidelines when compared with traditional media platforms. Additionally, the podcast host, who has a deep-rooted relationship with the listeners, usually picks a product/service they like and thus operates with exclusivity within a given product category. Also, podcasts build consumer awareness by effectively synchronizing brand messages with their organic content flow, without hampering the end-user experience. According to a study conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC, the U.S. podcasting advertising revenue hit $314 million in 2017, recording an increase of 86% from 2016, and is estimated to accelerate growth by 110% to reach $659 million by 2020.
Gautam Raj Anand, Founder & CEO, Hubhopper