India is witnessing a steady uptick in the usage of podcast entertainment over the last few years. The rise of DIY platforms has facilitated the emergence of independent content providers, resulting in an increase in the availability of new content. The popularity of smart gadgets like Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and Google Home has made it easier to find and listen to podcasts. Here are some key insights into the industry.

1. Podcast has picked up well in India and already constitute 1% of the total time spent

According to our RedSeer analysis, the total time spent in Oct’21 – Online Entertainment was around 2290 billion minutes. Social media takes up the most time (885 billion minutes), followed by Messaging, OTT Video, News Aggregation, and Shortform App. In the month of October, podcasts accounted for 2.5 billion minutes.

2. In order to keep the audience engaged platforms are focusing on and generating their own content, high-quality UGC would take longer

To acquire popularity and keep content development costs low, Indian platforms started with both UGC and PGC models. However, the platform’s ability to preserve brand value and quality is hampered by UGC material. Platforms are increasingly devoting more resources to producing high-quality content and bringing on celebrities to narrate and host shows. Few platforms, such as Headphone and Khabri, are investing in stronger UGC filtering and recommendation engines.

3. This growth is happening on the back of diversified content, smart devices and low data tariffs

Indian players have successfully created low data usage apps to deliver podcast content, with diversification around vernacular, and celebrity-driven content. The mix of free and premium models to subscription also allows new users to experiment and consume this new form of entertainment.

4. We have seen a 34% jump in the MAU during 2021, capturing 20% of the potential market

By the end of 2021, India will have 95 million monthly active users, a 34% increase from 71 million active users in 2020. The report also suggests that only 12% of the Indian population has ever listened to the podcast, indicating immense room for growth.

The newfound popularity of podcasts is attracting advertisers and brands. Platforms with multiple offerings generate the highest traffic. Although players are diversifying into other audio entertainment avenues to increase user engagement & traffic, still podcasts are the major focus for all the players. As India’s internet user base grows with a larger audience warming up to this new entertainment format, the podcast market will unravel in exciting ways.

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  • Mohit is an expert in Strategy, Performance Enhancement, Digital Services, M&A, and Due Diligence. He has 25 years of experience in management consulting, financial services, start-ups, and digital transformation.

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