Podcast consumption has shot up dramatically post-Covid. Brands are experimenting with this format. IVM's list of clients includes Cred, PayPal, Lenovo, Intel, Bank of Baroda and CoinSwitch Kuber.
Washing the dishes, mopping the floor, cleaning your room… All these tasks can get pretty mundane. Which is why during lockdown, many homebound people took to listening to podcasts.
According to a report (titled ‘Culture Next’) by Spotify, roughly 87 per cent of millennials and 77 per cent of Gen Z used audio streaming to reduce stress – even going as far as to view it as a mental health resource.
The report also mentioned that the average rate of podcast listenership rose 271 per cent among millennials and over 300 per cent among Gen Z in the first quarter of 2021, versus the same period in 2020.
September 30 marked the occasion of International Podcast Day, and it looks like this audio streaming format is here to stay. To understand more about this format as well as the challenges that entail monetising a podcast, we spoke to Amit Doshi, founder and CEO, IVM Podcasts.
Doshi began the conversation by mentioning that over the last five years or so, there has been lot of interest around podcasts. The listening habits of people have changed since COVID-induced lockdowns.
“Podcast consumption is very habit-driven. People consume podcasts only when they’re doing other things. The trinity of podcast listening is commute, workout and chores. You’re almost always doing one of these three when listening to a podcast.”
“Commuting went down last year, but the interest in podcast continued to grow. People were still listening to podcasts throughout the day, while doing their chores. Before a commute, listeners would download the podcast on Wi-Fi and listen to it on their phones. We saw a tremendous drop in podcast listening on Saturdays and Sundays – weekends would have around 55 per cent of the normal weekday traffic. But now, that number is at about 80 per cent,” adds Doshi.
The most popular podcast genres on the IVM platform are comedy, storytelling, business, politics and sports.
Doshi explains that the content creators making podcasts broadly fall into three categories – subject matter experts, entertainers (bloggers, content creators, etc.), and fans (of a sport like cricket.) As far as monetisation for the creators goes, Doshi mentions that there is a long way to go. Monetisation takes a while, irrespective of the content a podcaster is creating.
"Right now, podcasting isn’t as advanced as we’d like it to be, and we’re working very hard to get the industry there. The space doesn’t have that degree of familiarity, or understanding that any other media space does. "
“Right now, podcasting isn’t as advanced as we’d like it to be, and we’re working very hard to get the industry there. The space doesn’t have that degree of familiarity, or understanding that any other media space does. Take, for instance, digital video – most marketers in 2021 are familiar with that, but it took a while to get there.”
Some brands that IVM works with include Cred, PayPal, Lenovo, Intel, Bank of Baroda, CoinSwitch Kuber, and more. Doshi also lists the three different kinds of apps that people listen to podcasts on – dedicated podcasting apps (like Google Podcasts), audio streaming platforms (like Spotify and Amazon Music), and YouTube.
"Podcasters also make their content available on YouTube in a video format and it helps with discoverability."
YouTube has proven to be a popular place for podcasts to grow and get more visibility. “With YouTube Premium, people get YouTube Music free and that’s another avenue for people to listen to podcasts. Podcasters also make their content available on YouTube in a video format and it helps with discoverability,” says Doshi.
People don’t just listen to podcasts on their phones and laptops. “Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, smart televisions, tablets, and smart speakers (such as Alexa and Google Home) are all potential avenues for people to discover, and listen to, podcasts,” he concludes.
(Hero image by Magda Ehlers from Pexels)