RadioandMusic
| 13 Dec 2019
Spotify strengthens localisation strategy with original podcasts

MUMBAI: As a part of the company’s investment in the country’s audio streaming industry, Spotify has announced its first three original podcasts for India. 

Tapping into pop culture, 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 & Ankit, will go live on Spotify on December 3.

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. As with music artists, Spotify aims to offer better discovery, data, and monetization to podcast creators.

“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. We are so happy to partner with these talented storytellers who’ve managed to explore different aspects of the local culture to deliver differentiated content and rekindle the love Indians have for audio,” said Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director - India, Spotify.

With over 500,000 podcast titles on the platform, up from 10,000 in 2018, Spotify has seen exponential growth in the podcast hours streamed globally (up approximately 39% from Q2 2019 to Q3 2019), with podcast adoption reaching almost 14% of total monthly active users (MAUs). And while the U.S. accounts for the largest share of podcast streams, a majority of the growth and listening is now coming from outside the U.S.

“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 140,000 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,” added Amarjit.

India features in the all time top 3 streaming markets for tech show Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast, and for On Purpose with Jay Shetty, a show that’s been number 1 on Spotify’s India podcast chart since the time of launch. The country is also currently in the top ten streaming markets for TED Talks Daily and The Mindset Mentor. Other globally acclaimed podcasts such as Stuff You Should Know, and BBC’s Global News Podcast are also in the top 20 most streamed podcasts in India. Interestingly, local charts showcase 60% of the top 10 podcasts on Spotify are on self-motivation based lifestyle content.

Globally, Spotify has invested in new original podcasts in the U.S., Europe, and South America. In June this year, 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. In fact, the Sandeep Maheshwari podcast is an example of how Indian creators can leverage Anchor to create their content.

As podcasts gain steady popularity across the world, there’s also an opportunity for advertisers to think about connecting with their audience in a deeper, more intimate way through this format. In fact, Spotify’s research shows that half of the podcast listeners say podcast ads are more relevant, seamless, or entertaining than typical ads, making it a relevant communication platform.

Here’s more on the shows we are announcing today:

Show Name

22 Yarns With Gaurav Kapur

Produced By

Oaktree Productions

Narrator / Host

Gaurav Kapur

About The Show

A Spotify Original podcast hosted by popular cricket and entertainment host Gaurav Kapur, delves into the untold stories from the world of cricket. Through interviews with retired cricket greats, analysts, players, and cricket journalists, the show will recount some of the most fascinating cricket stories from India and beyond.

# of Episodes

12

Narrator Quote

“I started my career in an audio studio to tell stories, using voice to ignite the imagination of my audience. I have watched with interest the audio revolution in the last few years, and while my career has unfolded in front of cameras and on stage, the opportunity to go back to my happy place and tell stories I really want to tell, was too tempting to pass up. The fact that it’s a Spotify Original is the icing on the cake. With ‘22 Yarns’, I’m a kid in a candy store, but this overgrown child is willing to share his loot with all his listeners. I hope people like eating this cake with me.”

Show Name

Bhaskar Bose

Produced By

Audioboom & MnM Talkies

Narrator / Host

Mantra Mugdh

About The Show

Bhaskar Bose, a fictional audio drama series about a chartered accountant who moves from Durgapur (West Bengal) to Mumbai, but finds that his true calling is solving crimes. Voiced by popular TV and radio host Mantra, the detective series will solve the most impossible crimes in his inimitable style, and with some help from a few of his friends.

# of Episodes

10

Narrator Quote

There is huge potential in the world of audio, apart from music. From talk shows to drama, I feel that the evolution of storytelling content has been long overdue in India. I am still mesmerised by old school radio dramas, and how our older generations have had the opportunity to “hear” films! That’s why I started MnM Talkies, a podcast channel that specialises in the world of audio theatre. When Audioboom pitched Bhaskar Bose, a detective thriller, it felt right, especially since Spotify was on board. Within the show, the protagonist, along with his childhood friend Bikesh Das, solves murder mysteries, heists, and other out of the box crimes. Think of it as an audio play that will enable listeners to imagine their own film, while travelling with the story.”

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Show Name

Love Aaj Kal With Aastha & Ankit

Produced By

Aastha & Ankit

Narrator / Host

Aastha & Ankit

About The Show

Friends for decades, the duo tackle the complicated world of love, sex and dating in the 21st century from different perspectives. Every week, the hosts take up one issue, debate, discuss and try and find an answer to the complicated mirage of questions that the new generation faces.

# of Episodes

Ongoing (26)

Narrator Quote

“Our podcast is built on our friendship and our experiences (mostly unsuccessful) with the matters of the heart. We have found an audience that connects with our real talk, and is eager to share their love dilemmas with us. It’s pretty exciting to understand how modern India loves. We couldn’t have asked for a better collaborator than Spotify, who are making sure that we can reach out to the lovelorn, and help them navigate the choppy waters of relationships these days. The platform understands the amazing medium of podcasts very well, especially in a world where technology and apps, with their swipe left culture, affect our romantic lives so dramatically. We can’t wait to execute our vision with them.”