Everything You Need to Know About Podcasts
The seeds of podcasts were sown in India by radio talk shows, and how much people loved them. The only problem was that you had to catch them while they were live and there was no way to listen to them in your own time.
Podcasting in India began around 2005 with Apple updating iTunes to support podcasts (fun fact: podcast comes from the words iPod and Broadcast), and the creation of Indicast which started off as a single current affairs news show and has now grown into a network of 5 podcast shows available for streaming on major podcast directories.
A major boom happened in 2015 when the Indian market came to the notice of Audioboom, a UK-based company that hosts, distributes and helps monetise podcasts. Since opening its India office in 2016, Audioboom has worked with over 70 podcasters and its average monthly listens have jumped to 15 lakhs from under 2 lakhs in 2016.
India’s huge demand for podcasts
Youtube pioneered the video streaming boom in India, which further took off because of the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. At the heels of India’s video streaming boom lies another phenomenon that’s gathering steam: podcasts.
India is a country with a massive youth population. Even bigger than that is the time that a aforementioned population spends on commuting to school, college, or work. 98% off the apps currently compete for our screen time and podcasts can fill the gap when we don’t want to actively look at our phones.
Podcasts also bring fresh content to us which wouldn’t be possible on any other platforms. No topic is taboo for a podcast, people share their personal experiences without a filter and that resonates with the listener.
Reasons why you should listen to podcasts:
Listening to podcasts is a very personal experience, and everyone has their own reasons for doing so. Here are some compelling reasons why you should be listening to podcasts are (if you aren’t already):
- They help you stay educated and informed, even if you don’t have the time or patience to read.
- They help you become a better listener, since you listen for the joy of listening and not listening for the sake of answering.
- They’re good entertainment.
- They help you cut down on screen time.
- They stimulate your brain and inspire you.
- They help with anxiety.
- They help you learn unique topics directly from the experts.
Even Indira Nooyi asked PepsiCo employees to listen to more podcasts in her parting note. Do you really need any more reasons to be convinced?
How to listen to a Podcast?
Now that you are convinced listening to podcasts is a good idea, let’s take you through how to listen to podcasts:
Step 1: Own a phone. This is totally optional though, you can listen to podcasts on your laptop, tablet, iPod, Amazon Echo, Google Home, anything.
Step 2: Go to a podcast streaming app, you can find a list of recommended apps further in this blog.
Step 3: Search for the podcast of your choice. We’ve mentioned some recommendations ahead.
Step 4: You can go to the ‘Browse’ or ‘Discover’ button on podcast apps to peruse all the shows you might find interesting. You can search by
Category: eg. comedy, business, news, education, science, dating, murder, nail polish
Person: eg. Conan O’Brien, Anna Faris, RuPaul, Snoop Dogg, Russell Brand, your grandma, your tailor, etc
Provider: eg. BBC, NPR, Gimlet, Maed in India, IVM etc
Step 5: This is the fun part. Connect your earphones/speakers/aux and enjoy the show.
TIP: You can listen while you’re driving, exercising, cooking, cleaning, pooping, knitting, pretending to work, etc.
Best platforms to stream podcasts:
- Apple podcasts
- Podcast Addict
- Google podcasts
Which Indian podcasts to stream?
With the number of podcast listeners rising in India, the number of Indian podcasters is also rising. They cover a plethora or topics like tech, travel, current affairs, health and sexuality, pop culture, etc. The list is endless.
Here are the best Indian podcasts to stream in 2020:
Maed in India: The show is India’s first indie music podcast that showcases the best Indian independent musicians from India. Each episode brings you an artist/band along with an exclusive stripped down session of their original music.
My Indian Life: Life for young Indian adults in the 21st Century explored by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. Real stories from India – sometimes raw, often uplifting.
The Musafir Stories: The Musafir Stories is an audio podcast about various Indian travel destinations and about exploring this melting pot of diverse heritage, culture and religion and share the rich experiences of travelling in India. It is hosted by an Indian couple based out of Toronto – Saif Omar and Faiza Khan.
The Passion People Podcast: Passionate people, deep conversations. Thoughts on how to deal with listening to your heart and some examples to guide us forward. The Passion People Podcast is a series of impromptu conversations about following a passion, making it manifest and what all comes with it.
Cyrus Says: Hosted by the inimitable Cyrus Broacha, Cyrus Says is the definitive show on life in urban India, politics, sports, civic sense, traffic, kids, food, and everything that matters. Mostly.
No Sugar Coat: Hosted by pastry chef and owner of Le15 Patisserie Pooja Dhingra, this show is a no-holds-bar conversation that brings to light the stories behind restaurant walls and kitchen doors.
Thinking of creating your own podcast? Here’s what you need to know:
give a man a fish & he’ll eat for a day but teach a man how to do a podcast & he’ll never stop asking you if you’ve listened to it yet
— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) September 30, 2015
In conversation with podcaster (Unengineered and What’s the point) Atique Kudchi and avid podcast listeners from twitter we’ve discussed what makes a podcast good, and what new podcasters need to know before starting.
You don’t need to be a technical person to start your very own podcast. You just need to be internally committed to podcasting as it will take some time and effort to grow your base of listeners. Many podcasters start out enthusiastically but fade eventually when they don’t see immediate results, a phenomena also known as podfade.
The key to podcasting is to:
- Listen to podcasts yourself
- Identify a topic you are passionate about, a topic which you can research and speak about naturally and endlessly.
- Brand your podcast, by picking a name and selecting creatives. This is how you will interact with your audience even before they listen to your podcast.
- Plan your content, this will give you get a clear idea about where your podcast is heading, and help you not lose track and motivation midway.
- Get personal: podcast listeners love listening to podcasts because they are personal and allow the audience to connect with the host. As one listener mentioned, listening to a good podcast is like having a good conversation where you don’t have to constantly worry about replying or leading the conversation.
- Learn simple audio editing, this will make your podcast sound more neat and professional.
- Promote your podcast. Most podcasts start off as personal projects, unless they are a part of a podcasting network. It is very important to promote your podcasts and make sure it is available on the right platforms to reach the desired audience.
- Post quality content. The mantra “content is king” is valid for podcasts too. Keep your audience engaged. The moment they start feeling like your podcast is too long, you’ve lost their attention.