Spotify bets on original podcasts in India to woo listeners
Spotify, which launched its services in India earlier this year, competes with players like JioSaavn, Amazon Music, Gaana and Xiaomi-backed Hungama in the country where consumption of digital content is on the rise.
The Swedish firm is bringing in cricket-centric '22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapur', fiction thriller 'Bhaskar Bose' narrated by Mantra, and love and relationship advice-based 'Love Aaj Kal' by Aastha and Ankit, a statement said.
These podcasts will go live on Spotify on December 3, it added.
The announcement comes as a reiteration to Spotify's global audio-first strategy that focuses on the brand's potential to grow faster with more original podcasts.
The launch of these new series also opens the opportunity for India's growing creator community to work with the company for creating and delivering content in engaging audio formats.
"Storytelling is intrinsic to India, and almost nostalgic because most of us have grown on stories that our grandparents and parents told us; Spotify wants to re-establish that listening culture here, especially as users seek more screen-free moments," Spotify Managing Director (India) Amarjit Singh Batra said.
Currently, Spotify has over 5 lakh podcast titles on the platform, up from 10,000 in 2018.
Globally, Spotify has invested in new original podcasts in the US, Europe, and South America. In June, former US president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground, announced a partnership with Spotify to produce podcasts exclusive to the platform.
The acquisitions of podcast networks Gimlet and Parcast, and creator platform Anchor have also enabled the company to invest in high-quality content as well as providing an easy way for creators to record a podcast, respectively.
Spotify has also seen exponential growth in the podcast hours streamed globally (up about 39 per cent from the second quarter of 2019 to the third quarter) with podcast adoption reaching almost 14 per cent of total monthly active users (MAUs).
While the US accounts for the largest share of podcast streams, a majority of the growth and listening is now coming from outside the US, Spotify said.
"Just a little over one year ago, we announced Spotify for Podcasters, which provides listener insights to all creators who have podcasts on our platform. Today, we have 1,40,000 registered creators across the world, on the platform, and the data for a few of these creators shows that India features in their top streamed markets. Much of this content is lifestyle, educational, and news," Batra said.India features among top streaming markets for a number of podcasters on Spotify. SR HRS
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