India’s affinity to audio content and music goes back to the 1950s when AM and FM stations began growing in popularity along with the All India Radio broadcasts. Now with more than 369 private and 450 FM stations, India’s radio industry reaches 99% of the listeners across the country and is the biggest mass media platform for advertisers in modern times. Of late, the craze for on-demand audio content is pushing Indian millennials towards the dynamic industry of music streaming as well as the podcast industry.
While over 200 Mn listeners are estimated to be using music streaming services, those looking for non-linear audio content (talk shows, audiobooks, storytelling, and more) are shifting gradually to podcasts.
As of December 2019, 40 Mn Indian internet users have listened to podcasts in India. Although, this market is just one small fraction of the bigger OTT video and music streaming industry.
However, if compared to western markets, India has all the right growth variables. The emergence of digital marketing to grab more users and revenue, entry of celebrities in podcast creation (Neha Dhupia, Kunal Kapoor, Kalki Koechlin and others); entry of foreign players (Spotify, Audible, Apple Podcasts, Audioboom and others); adoption of podcasts as a content stream by media companies (Hindustan Times, BBC, NPR etc.) as well as local music streaming platforms such as JioSaavn, Gaana have all played a crucial role in the growth of podcasts in the Indian market.