Audio entertainment and podcasts are all the rage. It’s fair to assume that almost every professional today is aware of podcasts. The awareness of this medium has grown from just about 30% to well over 70% in just about two years.
Riding this wave is a large swathe of creators who are experimenting with different content formats and storytelling methods. This is great since these phases usually push innovation forward and bring on more consumers into the fold.
Typically, podcasts can be split into two formats - conversational and others! The purists will argue that a “podcast” is a monologue or a conversation and everything else is audio entertainment. So be it!
One of the major trends taking shape globally is the growth of entertainment and infotainment led audio content. This is led by studios like BBC Sounds, Wondery and others. This content mixes information and history with a dramatised presentation offering an immersive experience to the listener.
Over the past year, we have also seen a growing number of celebrities and influencers take to audio as a means of growing their audience base and adding an additional platform to their digital footprint. While a lot of the celebrity content stays in the conversational space, the insight and almost behind-the-scenes look that they bring is the driving force behind the growth of this category.
Industry leaders have also taken to the platform in a big way. Voices like Dipali Goenka, Dheeraj Sinha, Ankur Warikoo, and corporates alike are using podcasts to extend their reach within their companies and also to their industries at large. The medium works well thanks to its inherent traits of passive consumption, the feeling of being one-on-one with the host and almost barrier less access to the content.
Going beyond the traditional format, though, one of the biggest trends emerging will be how books find a new life in audio. Yes, audiobooks have been growing, but not everyone is willing to commit 6 or 8 or 12 hours to a book. Is there another way to consume this? Can books be adapted to podcasts as a format and made episodic? Short answer is yes! This space brings together the best of many worlds - great existing content, increasing the base of listeners for the book, and making consumption easier.
The rise of companion podcasts is also something to watch out for. Big global shows like Game of Thrones, The Crown and more have used the medium to offer fans an ongoing connection with the show. This definitely builds further affinity and the occasional appearance of a beloved star on the podcast just feeds the frenzy!
In India, some of these trends are just starting to take shape. While corporates have been quicker to see value in audio content, others are slowly warming up to it, not because it's trendy, but because it offers an efficient way to stay connected and also expand the audience base.
2023 will be the year when a lot of innovation will come to the fore. With measurability already built into the medium, it offers a way to objectively assess the performance and its need for various use cases. Much excitement for the next 12 months! Keep listening!
Aditya Kuber is the co-founder & CEO of Ideabrew Studios.