In the ever-evolving world of Indian podcasting, the old adage, “Everything you say about India is true; the opposite is also true,” rings as true as ever. These words, eloquently spoken by Sreeraman Thiagarajan, the CEO of aawaz.com, aptly apply not only to life in India but also to the diverse and dynamic Indian podcast space.
Indian podcast enthusiasts can be categorized into four distinct groups:
The 1% Ters (10 million+)
These are the globalized Indians who comprise a smaller percentage of the population. They gravitate towards content on diverse topics such as pets, veganism, and business. Their preference predominantly leans towards the English language.
The Desi Who Speaks English (110 million+)
These individuals are your everyday folks, commonly found in workplaces across the country. They have a penchant for content related to news, spirituality, comedy, and more. Language-wise, they are comfortable with English, ‘Highlish,’ ‘Tanglish,’ or even a mix of ‘Enagli.’
The Desi Who Speaks Desi Only (500 million+)
This is the mass market of podcast listeners in India. They prefer content in their local languages, reflecting their deep-rooted connection to regional culture and identity.
The Rest of the Population (600 million+)
This group includes individuals with limited or no access to the internet, marking a segment that is still untapped by the digital podcasting wave.
Thiagarajan emphasizes that contrary to popular belief, English is not the preferred language for the majority of Indians. Many are more at ease consuming content in their native languages.
Within the Indian podcast ecosystem, three types of actors emerge, Indie creators, PGC, and UGC, aggregators, or hybrids. Competing alongside these podcast players in India is the video giant, YouTube.
Success in the Indian podcast realm hinges on the ability to align content with the genre, language, and the unique personas of the audience. For aspiring podcasters looking to make an impact in India, Thiagarajan offers some sage advice: Focus on engaging storytelling, delve into spiritual themes, provide timely and relevant news, and infuse doses of humour into your content.