Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon became the last resort for entertainment when people got locked inside their homes due to the Covid-19 crisis. With ‘work hard party harder’ is no more the millennial mantra, ‘Netflix and Chill came in vogue.
People started streaming more than ever across the globe, with significant streaming players locking the horns. As a result, Netflix announced $16 billion in the budget for content to be released in 2020 as 16 million new subscribers thronging the platform. Currently, the United States-based company has around 183 million customers.
Amazon Prime is not far behind with 150 million subscribers worldwide. However, compared to Netflix, it’s budget for the content dwarfs at $7 billion.
Are Podcasts Silently Gaining Ground
A report from Adobe Analytics stated that 33% of millennials are tuning in to at least five podcasts in a week. Not being exposed to the screen fatigue and doing other household work or working on a project while listening to something meaningful is striking a chord with the millennials.
Podcasts are also crucial for the audio streaming services, which have seen a drop of roughly 32% in consumption post lockdown. As a result, these services are now creating a slew of podcasts on a range of topics in a bid to attracts the millennials and those interested in audio streaming platforms.
IVM co-founder Amit Doshi stated that they are seeing the gap between weekday and weekend listening narrowing. The non-intrusive nature of the podcasts turns out to be something that people are liking while also getting room to do other activities.
For instance, HT Media curated mythological, spiritual, and entertainment stories that garnered a total of 5 million listeners in April.
Why Podcasts are Gaining Popularity
Other than being a minimum disturbance media, podcasts are also diverse. You can tune in to your favorite topic and get to know all about it on the go. The mobility option is a significant benefit of working in favor of podcasts over video streaming services.
Moreover, the educational institutions are targeting podcasts for the academics wherein the students will have the flexibility to listen to on the go.
As studies and schools are shifting to online platforms, students are facing various challenges such as long hours of sitting, poor connectivity for streaming a live video, and so on. Podcasts are becoming a go-to option.
Further, most of the audio streaming platforms work on a freemium basis, which means that you would need to pay for a few services but also get basic ones for free, unlike most of the streaming platforms.
Moreover, people are looking to take a break from the screens after working for 8-9 hours continuously on their laptops. Earlier, there used to be other modes of entertainment, but that is not the case anymore. In the pool of video streaming services, podcasts are something that one can enjoy and also relax.
How Are Major Podcasts Doing?
In India, JioSaavn has become a household name and has a string of podcast content for the months to come. The brand is catering to both Hindi and English-speaking crowd with different categories of podcasts.
Global Podcast service like Spotify is also expanding its portfolio of content and localizing it to address every market. Further, the platform has already reported an increase in news podcasts on its platform with people tuning in to podcasts from CNN, BBC, etc.
Gaana, one of the most popular audio streaming services, has witnessed an increase of 24% in motivational and self-help podcasts. People are more inclined towards their spiritual wellness and mental health in the time of crisis.
Audio Streaming Platforms Are Experimenting More Than Ever
Podcasts that were limited to the tech world before have not expanded into creating content related to mythology, spiritual wellness, entertainment, and even academics. The surge in the trial and error method of audio streaming companies is letting them garner more listeners.
In the same breath, these companies are now making more room for innovative ideas. For instance, Bengaluru based audio streaming platform Headfone has seen a surge in the listener base. Moreover, headphone users from across the country are collaborating and organizing music, fests, etc.
As the clouds of doubt loom over re-opening of the world in full throttle, audio streaming services are gaining solid ground. The scenario will, however, not be as smooth when people would have more options for entertainment.
Therefore, now is the time when these streaming companies should invest the maximum in research, understanding their users, and devising a strategy to keep this love affair going.