Mumbai: As a part of the company’s investment in the country’s audio streaming industry, Spotify has announced its first three original podcasts for India. Tapping into pop culture, cricket centric ‘22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapur’, fiction thriller ‘Bhaskar Bose’ narrated by Mantra, and love and relationship advice-based ‘Love Aaj Kal’ by Aastha & Ankit, will go live on Spotify on December 3.
The announcement comes as a reiteration to Spotify’s global audio-first strategy that focuses on the brand’s potential to grow faster with more original podcasts. The launch of these new series also opens the opportunity for India’s growing creator community to work with the company for creating and delivering content in engaging audio formats. As with music artists, Spotify aims to offer better discovery, data, and monetization to podcast creators.
“Storytelling is intrinsic to India, and almost nostalgic because most of us have grown on stories that our grandparents and parents told us; Spotify wants to re-establish that listening culture here, especially as users seek more screen-free moments. We are so happy to partner with these talented storytellers who’ve managed to explore different aspects of the local culture to deliver differentiated content and rekindle the love Indians have for audio,” said Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director – India, Spotify.
With over 500,000 podcast titles on the platform, up from 10,000 in 2018, Spotify has seen exponential growth in the podcast hours streamed globally (up approximately 39% from Q2 2019 to Q3 2019), with podcast adoption reaching almost 14% of total monthly active users (MAUs). And while the U.S. accounts for the largest share of podcast streams, a majority of the growth and listening is now coming from outside the U.S.
“Just a little over one year ago, we announced Spotify for Podcasters, which provides listener insights to all creators who have podcasts on our platform. Today, we have 140,000 registered creators across the world, on the platform, and the data for a few of these creators shows that India features in their top streamed markets. Much of this content is lifestyle, educational, and news,” added Amarjit.
India features in the all time top 3 streaming markets for tech show Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast, and for On Purpose with Jay Shetty, a show that’s been number 1 on Spotify’s India podcast chart since the time of launch. The country is also currently in the top ten streaming markets for TED Talks Daily and The Mindset Mentor. Other globally acclaimed podcasts such as Stuff You Should Know, and BBC’s Global News Podcast are also in the top 20 most streamed podcasts in India. Interestingly, local charts showcase 60% of the top 10 podcasts on Spotify are on self-motivation based lifestyle content.
Globally, Spotify has invested in new original podcasts in the U.S., Europe, and South America. In June this year, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, announced a partnership with Spotify to produce podcasts exclusive to the platform. The acquisitions of podcast networks Gimlet, and Parcast, and creator platform Anchor have also enabled the company to invest in high-quality content as well as providing an easy way for creators to record a podcast, respectively. In fact, the Sandeep Maheshwari podcast is an example of how Indian creators can leverage Anchor to create their content.
As podcasts gain steady popularity across the world, there’s also an opportunity for advertisers to think about connecting with their audience in a deeper, more intimate way through this format. In fact, Spotify’s research shows that half of the podcast listeners say podcast ads are more relevant, seamless, or entertaining than typical ads, making it a relevant communication platform.