An exciting, interesting, and profitable way to make money is to start a podcast. Your podcast may be a hobby, a side gig, or an immediate business, depending on your goals.
Over half of India’s population listens to music and streams of video content. But there is a new wave of online listening activity brewing and popping up on playlists – podcasts.
As per Statista’s data, there were 383.7 million internet users who tuned into podcasts in 2021, and this number has expanded to 464.7 million in 2023. It is projected that the global podcast audience will further increase to 504.9 million by 2024, representing approximately 23.5% of all internet users.
With the entry of platforms like Spotify India, and an increase in podcasts by celebrities and stand up artists post lockdown, podcasts could become the next big audio-streaming source in India after music.
What is a podcast?
If you are new to the field of podcasts, here’s what you need to know. Here’s how we define a podcast:
- You set up a topic of discussion and contact a guest speaker to shed light on the topic.
- You prepare a script, set a date for the discussion.
- Set up audio requirements to ensure excellent sound quality during the session.
- On the day of the session, you record the entire conversation.
- Before uploading it on a platform, you edit, trim and refine the entire session.
- You upload the final digital audio file on a platform for audiences to listen.
You just recorded and uploaded your first podcast! Now, let us convince you WHY you need to podcast for your business.
Why should small businesses use podcast?
Have you ever been a person who thought that a certain topic has to reach a larger number of audience? Could be awareness on how to start a new small business, mental health, socio-political issue or any present day experiences with audience so that they can connect to you.
Did you know that podcasting is set to increase by 40-45% by listener base in India?
Think of it this way – you are catering to an audience who treasured the radio at one point in time. All you need to do is know how to have a conversation with your audience through this platform.
“ Despite being a new concept in India, the podcast industry has successfully marked its presence in countries like the United States. Entrepreneurs that are willing to establish their career in the Indian podcast segment primarily needs to design a proper business model that could make sense in this market.” – Amit Doshi, Founder of IVM Podcasts, for Entrepreneur Magazine.
People had access to OTT platforms during the pandemic, not only to watch movies, series, or for any other purpose, but also to listen to podcasts, which saw a number of growths.
It didn’t particularly have to be related to awareness but had also various topics debates, conversations with entrepreneurs, artists, celebrities, and politicians which helped audience be engaged to it.
The introduction of podcasts in music platforms
Platforms like Gaana, Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play Store, JioSaavn, and Airtel’s Wynk music are betting on podcasts becoming the next big thing in India – and want brands to pitch in!
“We have seen a niche segment of our users who are very regular listeners of podcasts and this number although pretty small in the percentage of our user base is seeing continued growth,” Prashan Agarwal, CEO Gaana for Hubhopper
Reaching out to a vernacular audience base
Small businesses need not resort to English to record podcasts and tech out to their audience.
- Khabri – a digital audio platform for vernacular content is seeing a rise with listeners.
- Headfone is another audio platform that encourages users to listen to short stories, talk shows, all in regional languages. Take a look at their Youtube channel here.
How to record your first podcast?
Most of the researchers state that podcasting has seen a major change from the year 2020 to this date. Podcasting touches on various topics that would help audience be engaged at any place and at any time of the day.
Here’s a checklist for how you need to record your first podcast:
1. A name/logo/theme
What do you want your podcast to be called by your customers? Keep a name that is centered around your brand, your speakers, your themes of discussion and of course, what your audience is interested to know about you.
For example – a personal favourite podcast of mine is ‘The Blogging millionaire’. A straightforward name with an exaggerated design that caters to one specific theme – how to make money while blogging.
2. Format of the podcast
What is your podcast going to look like? Podcasts can take multiple forms – one-man show, co-hosting, a panel discussion. Also, a format helps you decide the flow of the podcast.
Have an introductory beat, an announcement of the podcast episode, mention the speaker’s names and keep closing remarks (preferably with music). Here’s how your format can look:
- Intro music, followed by an introduction to the podcast name ( 2 minutes)
- The music stops, followed by mentioning the speaker’s bio ( 3 minutes)
- Topic discussion ( 5 minutes)
- Break ( 30 seconds)
- A quick word from a sponsor
- Closing remarks followed by music
3. Content for the podcast
What is your podcast going to say? This is what your audience has clicked on your image on the platform for. They are intrigued to know about your opinions, and want to hear something they can nod their head to!
For example – check out this podcast ‘ The Indian Dream’ that discusses futuristic ideas for Indian businesses.
A Tip – The ideal length of a podcast is 22 minutes, but if your topic stretches beyond that, make sure you keep it engaging. Add elements like humour, sound effects and witty anecdotes.
4. Speakers list
Who will add value to your topic? Amit Verma, a veteran podcaster and possibly India’s most popular podcasting host, scours the globe for speakers. A good thing about finding podcast speakers, they need not be in the same room as you! You can record your podcast discussion with online recording tools like:
5. Equipment to record your podcast
- Microphone – Invest in a good microphone. You can find a few good microphones on Amazon that suit your audio needs. Check them out here.
- Headphones – Ensure you do not have any background noise. To help with that, wear noise-canceling headphones if you need to record yourself. A good pair of headphones ensure you hear yourself clearly and block out any external disturbance.
- Audio editing software – Your speaker could have said something silly you need to edit out, or maybe you did. How do you go about it? Here are a few audio editing software tools you can get started with.
- A podcast host – A podcast host is where you house your digital audio files. Find out how to upload your podcasts to iTunes with this guide. You can create a channel on Spotify, Gaana, Wynk music and upload your podcasts there too.
6. Top Podcast Platforms for SMEs
- Google Podcasts – A study by KPMG India and Google showed that the number of Indian language internet users grew by 41% between 2011 and 2016, and the numbers are projected to grow exponentially in the years to come. Google Podcasts is focusing on exploring more Indian languages through its ‘Creators Program‘.
- IVM Podcasts – IVM is a podcast network has a multitude of hosts from all over the country who takes podcasting to different levels. The team produce a variety of shows that cover topics ranging from sports to style and public policy to pop culture (and more that don’t fit this alliterative sentence structure). Here’s a podcast they recently conducted with our COO, Akash Gehani.
- Hubhopper -With a strong focus to promote vernacular content for all audiences, Hubhopper has over 50 million hours of podcasts. You can create a podcast simply by clicking on the website.
- Spotify, Itunes, and Gaana – any music platform – Register your profile as an artist on any music platform and upload your podcasts here.
According to an article in Scroll, Spotify recently bought Anchor, a popular and FREE podcast tool that thousands of Indian podcasters used.
How to promote your podcasts to your audience?
A podcast is a safe way to discuss any topic that you do not get to listen to otherwise. For example, radio shows cannot discuss politics or current affairs, but podcasts can. There are tough topics debated on the platform that give insights to a lot of potential listeners. So, how do you know they listen to your podcasts?
1. Allow them to engage with you offline
Provide an email/social media handle to your listeners. Allow them to give you feedback on a podcast topic. Daniel Fernandes, one of India’s top comedians, uploads his podcasts on Youtube as well, allowing the audience to leave comments, feedback or questions.
He also uses the famous ‘Pay-what-you-want-feature’ from Instamojo which gives his audience complete discretion to decide how much to contribute to his podcast.
“A podcast is easier to produce as compared to a stand-up show; where it takes months to prepare, set up and perform,” Daniel says.
2. Collect payments/contributions via payment platforms –
Amit Verma has millions of listeners tuning in to his engaging podcasts daily. ‘The Seen and The Unseen’ is one of the most widely listened to podcasts in the country. So, what helps Amit stay motivated? Knowing his audience is listening and believes his content is worth the time and effort he adds to it.
When businesses are shifting to paid platforms, Amit keeps his podcasts free of cost and allows listeners to contribute via a voluntary support mechanism using Instamojo.
“When I thought of voluntary support, I figured that Instamojo was the most convenient platform for me. It’s easy to use and works like a dream,” Amit said.
Here’s how you can use Instamojo’s payment links to collect contributions for your business podcasts:
A podcast, at the end of it all, is a format. The essence of every format is intis conversation, topic and customer feedback. Let us know how your first podcast goes in the comments!
Introducing mojoMakers – Instamojo’s own podcast platform
Have you ever wanted to hear the story of your local businesspeople – the shopkeeper setting up his own store, the homemaker starting her own fashion business? We bring these stories to you now, on our exclusive business podcast platform – mojoMakers!
Get inspired by stories of businesses in your area – stories you would never get to hear otherwise. Find out how these entrepreneurs set up their businesses, fought against the odds and came out successful!
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Listen to our podcast and get inspired to start and grow your online business!