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India’s Podcast Ecosytem Is Growing

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Podcast’ is the new buzzword making waves on the internet. Whether it’s comedy, information, news, or interviews, there’s a podcast for everything, as a matter of fact, more than one and with streaming services like Apple going full throttle with funding exclusive Apple Podcasts and Spotify acquiring multiple podcast companies for an estimated cost of $400 Million, podcasting is only bound to become more mainstream. 


While the podcast industry has only started gaining momentum recently, the concept of audio blogging has been around for way longer than you would imagine. In mid-2005, Apple made its first move in the podcast space by injecting the podcast subscription feature in the iTunes 4.9 application along with a huge library of almost 3000 podcasts. Then in January 2006, Steve Jobs gave a keynote address illustrating how one can create a podcast with the brand new GarageBand 3. We have come a long way since then but it was steady growth. Creators kept being more creative on their part and people started to catch on. The categories got more and more specific and suddenly there was something for everyone. Some creators even started providing their listeners with an alternative way to enjoy their podcast, which is via a YouTube video and although that defeats the purpose of podcasting since it is supposed to be an audio blog, emphasis on audio, it is a well-known fact that some people prefer video content more and some podcasters have just been smart about exploiting that untapped market. The most prominent example of that would be the Joe Rogan Podcast on YouTube but even outside of the infotainment space, Video podcasts have proved to be very successful for YouTube vloggers like David Dobrik, Emma Chamberlain, Cody Ko & Logan Paul who have managed to create an audience that wants as much of that creator as they can possibly get and since podcasting is, after all, an hour-long affair, these videos go a long way for such fans in satisfying what seems to be an unquenchable appetite for content. 


So, it’s safe to say the podcast industry is booming in the US and most other countries but let’s take a look at how well India has responded to this new wave of media. 


With the arrival of Spotify, the Indian audience has been introduced to a vast new library of podcasts but companies like IVM, JioSaavn have always been at the forefront of the podcasting game in India with their original programming and exclusive shows. That being said, here are some of the most exciting Indian podcasts that you can go and check out right now.


Maed In India – 60% Music & 40% Talk is how the Maed In India folks like to describe this show. Labelled as India’s First Indie Music Podcast, it usually includes acoustic performances along with in-depth interviews with the occasional mixtape episodes featuring some of the most compelling tunes from all over the country.


I’ve been working in the podcasting space for the last 4 years and even now, the industry is in a nascent stage. India has huge potential of being a big market for podcasting. However, unlike podcast markets like US, UK, Europe & Australia, India is highly diverse in terms of language, economic strata, regional (and therefore different cultural contexts), urban and rural etc.  With the influx of OTT platforms, a growth of mobile internet users in the country, there is an increasing demand for audio content. So, currently OTT platforms and media companies are investing in exclusive shows. Once brands start realising the potential and qualitative value of this medium, we will see new growth potential for podcasts. Currently, podcasting is a bit of a wild west and not many people know how to tackle working in this new space. Something as basic as, there needs to be more awareness around how to access podcasts and marketing of the medium itself. The future that I see is bright and I hope more and more creators, platforms and brands view podcasting as a new avenue for creating conversations outside the mainstream, to be creatively bold, nurture new voices, and really explore innovative audio content.
Mae Thomas, Host & Founder of Maed In India


Geek Fruit – Comprising of ‘The Nerditorium’ & ‘The Geek Fruit Podcast’, hosts Jishnu, Tejas & Dinkar talk about anything and everything surrounding the world of science fiction & nerd and pop-culture. Produced by IVM podcasts, the Geek Fruit team according to their website, is striving to create a “COMMUNITY TO UNITE ESTRANGED GEEKS FROM ACROSS INDIA (LATER THE WORLD!)


Kalki Presents: My Indian Life – Presented by BBC World Service & hosted by the talented Bollywood celebrity, Kalki Koechlin, this weekly updated podcast brings you fascinating stories from all over India stirring conversations and healthy discussions around topics that urgently need to be addressed. Although it has been created keeping in mind the needs of young Indians living in the 21st century, I’m sure no matter who the listener is, it will unquestionably provide them with some food for thought.


Dating Is Garbage – Ever went to a date that made you feel certain that it’s gonna be your last one? Well, this podcast is just the thing for you. Hosted by Abbas, Jaanam, and Surbhi, this show talks about the dating culture including stories about all kinds of experiences narrated by special guests as well as the hosts. 


Brownload – Tommy Sandhu, British-Indian comedian has a podcast as well and it’s as hilarious as you would expect it to be and not to mention it’s an absolute delight to hear Tommy talk about all things Desi with his friends. Presented by Sony Music India, the podcast is available on all good podcast outlets.


Naval’s Podcast – Indian-American entrepreneur, Naval Ravikant has lived quite an interesting life. Raised under not so fortunate circumstances, Naval grew up to become the co-founder of AngelList among many other things and along the way picked up invaluable life lessons which he now likes to share with fellow netizens via a series of mini-podcast episodes.


Now that you have been introduced to the wondrous world of podcasts, don’t shy away from exploring some more options and look for a show that hits the sweet spot and revolves around the topic that brings you the most joy.



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