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2019: The year of the Indian podcast

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“The 2018 way of making a new friend is by asking them to be a guest on your podcast.” This tweet that made the rounds on the Internet a few months ago, is not far off the mark. From Ellen de Generes to Neha Dhupia to your investment banker neighbour who records with an iPhone in his garage, it really does feel like everyone has, at some point last year, dabbled with the medium.

But the podcast, experts believe, is yet to have its Indian boom — that “one big explosion”, as Mae Thomas, host of the popular indie music show, Maed in India, describes it. But boom it will, in 2019. Following counterparts in the West, Indian news outlets are now delving into audio output, and the number of content platforms creating original audio shows for a local, multilingual audience is growing. Advertisers are taking note, while some loyal fans might even fork out a subscription fee to listen to their favourite storytellers and public intellectuals.

Want to create your original show, but do not know how to? Coaches and consultants specialising (sometimes exclusively) in the medium have got you covered.

Apple’s recent rankings of the top Indian podcasts (which includes Maed in India) reveals the growing diversity in the local industry. Food and restaurants with Pooja Dhingra (NoSugarCoat), Premchand’s stories by Sameer Goswami, and a quirky take on the etymology of words by Rachel Lopez (Wordy Wordpecker), are just some examples.

In its ‘State of the Podcast Universe Report’, Voxnest, a podcasting solutions company, ranked India as the country with the fastest growth rate (over 30%) in creation. Significant revenue, it said, is yet to come, as business models are still playing catch up. But, if you are considering taking a leap into, or experimenting with, the exciting world of audio, here is what you need to know.

With inputs from Varun Senthil Nathan

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