Report says India to see 95 mn Podcast users by 2021 end

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India will have 95 million Podcast monthly active users — a 34 percent increase from 71 million active users in 2020 — by the end of this year, a new report showed on Monday.

India is witnessing a steady uptick in the usage of podcast entertainment over the last few years.

The popularity of smart gadgets like Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and Google Home has made it easier to find and listen to podcasts.

“Podcasts have picked up well in India and already constitute one percent of the total time spent on online entertainment,” according to data provided by Bengaluru-based research from RedSeer.

The total time spent in October on online entertainment was around 2,290 billion minutes.

Social media takes up the most time (885 billion minutes), followed by messaging, OTT video, news aggregation, and short-form apps.

In October, podcasts accounted for 2.5 billion minutes.

“Only 12 percent of the Indian population has ever listened to the podcast, indicating immense room for growth,” the report noted.

Podcast 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 (user-generated content) filtering and recommendation engines.

“Indian players have successfully created low-data usage apps to deliver podcast content, with diversification around vernacular, and celebrity-driven content,” said the report.

The mix of free and premium models to subscription also allows new users to experiment and consume this new form of entertainment, it added.

Although players are diversifying into other audio entertainment avenues to increase user engagement and traffic, still podcasts are the major focus for all the players.

“We have seen a 34 percent jump in the MAU during 2021, capturing 20 percent of the potential market,” the report said.

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