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Indian Express is getting into the audio podcasts game

The Indian Express is doing podcasts now. The group is launching with eight shows, to begin with, and is doing both news shows and in-depth thematic programming. For instance, a show titled “Water” will look at the politics and history of how water is distributed and used in agriculture in India. The Express Adda podcast, an extension of the newspaper’s in-house event brand, released an episode where they spoke to the Dalai Lama.

Podcasts in India

Podcasts in India, at least professionally speaking, are controlled by a small number of firms. The largest one is quite possibly Indus Vox Media, which has its own app and a roster of forty apps. Then there’s Audiomatic, another indie network of podcasts that produces fewer but similar shows. Both companies are networks — the actual distribution happens over multiple podcast apps with standardised RSS feeds. Arré and other media companies have a few in-house podcasting ops too — the financial daily Mint had a weekly podcast until October last year. Newslaundry also does podcasts that are behind a paywall.

Monetizing may be very far, though. One digital marketing agency’s CEO told Mint that podcasts were around a decade away from making any money. But partnerships with streaming apps like Saavn (and soon, perhaps, Spotify) might help firms make money quicker. For companies like Newslaundry, which are subscription-driven and don’t rely exclusively on podcasts, audio makes more business sense.

Another recent development in the podcasts space has been the launch of Google’s own podcast app for Android. Amit Doshi the CEO of Indus Vox Media told BuzzFeed News that, people who currently listen to podcasts in markets like India are already savvy. “They already know what podcasts are and they know how to find them.” Doshi added, “The challenge is to get to people who don’t know what a podcast is right now. This is where Google’s efforts to help creators and also having a dedicated app on Android, a platform that most people in India use, will help a lot.”

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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