Why podcasts will dominate the media landscape
As the dependency on digital forms of media for entertainment and education increased, creators began exploring new ways to publish their content; one such avenue was podcasts. Its massive rise in popularity has created a demand and job opportunities for the new-age media professionals
Though the idea behind podcasts dates to 2004, the medium gained traction a little later through apps like Spotify and Apple iTunes, after on-demand media became the new norm. Podcasts, which are essentially radio in a digital form, show a series of episodes digitally formatted on a specific topic, which can be streamed online or downloaded for listening offline.
According to Edison Research Infinite Dial 2020’s report, around 200,000 podcast shows produced 48 million episodes as of April 2021, and over 55% of the US population regularly listened to podcasts. KPMG’s Media and Entertainment Report 2020 found that India recorded a 29.3% increase in listeners since 2020. However, one of the main reasons why podcasts are becoming popular is their degree of convenience. Listeners can access hours’ worth of verified information about any topic of their choice and enjoy it while they are on the go.
Podcasts fit perfectly into the busy lives of the people of the 21st century. Moreover, the platform caters to several subjects – from space travel and the birth of the universe to guided meditations – there is a podcast for every genre imaginable.
The onset of the pandemic has taken the digital revolution and the use of podcasts to an all new height. The paradigm shift from radio to podcasts has also impacted the way people consume media. Owing to the shareable quality of podcasts, especially on social media, it has become an integral format to reach different segments of people and engage with them. The convenience of on-demand access to podcasts is drawing audiences as well as investors and advertisers to the medium.
Personalisation is another reason why podcasts are gaining popularity over the traditional radio format. With podcasts, people can listen to content that matches their interests. The constantly rising number of podcasts also gives the audience ample options.
However, the real win for podcasts, compared to other forms of mainstream media, is the ease of their production. Podcasts can be made at home by anyone with a decent microphone, editing software, and a story to tell. One does not need a large budget or vast technical know-how to create a podcast. There also is no need to obtain a license for the creators, making it an economical avenue. With the right sponsorships and content, creators can easily monetise their podcasts and generate significant profits.
There is an expansive range of podcasts available including interviews, e-commerce, solo, multi-host, covering everything under the sun – from comedy, crime, pop culture, news, and opinions. The stories of Rakesh Tiwari, Karen Kilgariff, and Georgia Hardstark, who are considered legends in the field, prove how podcasts can change the trajectory of the creation and consumption of content.
Rakesh Tiwari, a spoken word poet from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, launched his show ‘Millennial Kavi’ in 2020 and has since become the second most-streamed Hindi Podcast on Jio Saavn, an Indian streaming service. Tiwari uses personal anecdotes to connect to his listeners. His show became so popular that it also became the source of his income.
Another apt example of the success of podcasts is the ‘True Crime’ duo Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, who started doing podcasts out of their passion and love for true crime and were successfully able to make it their full-time career. As of now, ‘True Crime’ is one of the highest-earning podcasts and according to Forbes, one of its shows ‘My favourite murder’ earned an estimated $15 million revenue in 2019.
Apart from entertainment, podcasts are also bringing a transformation in industries such as education and advertising. Due to the distance learning approach adopted by educational institutions during the pandemic, podcasts have become a useful tool for teachers for sending their recorded lectures to students, who can listen and replay them whenever they like. According to ‘The Podcast Host’, a one-stop destination for podcasting advice, many universities reported positive results after adding this media into their learning ecosystem.
The future of podcasting will see an increase in new show-hosting platforms as well as investment from pre-existing OTT platforms, thus creating a demand and job opportunities in the industry. Since these podcasts reach a niche group of customers and are highly engaging, these are also the best choice for marketers to promote their products.
Students can make their name in podcasting with the right education such as a strong background in Digital and Mass Media and a specialisation in Digital Audio Broadcasting: Radio Production, Podcasts, and Distribution. Through this program, one can equip themselves with the skills necessary to rise above their competition while also achieving personal growth and an insightful learning experience.
UPES School of Modern Media provides students with the knowledge, technical expertise, and industrial exposure required to master any media field they chose to enter. To find out more about the course, click here https://www.upes.ac.in/course/digital-audio-broadcasting