AudioHop rides the new wave

A new audio content start-up from Pune is trying to make way into the burgeoning podcast-space in India

A new Pune-based content start-up, called AudioHop is focusing solely on podcasts. Founder Piyush Shinde, 30, who has been at this now for eight months, claims that his venture is only the second “premium podcast network” in India after IVM Podcasts of Indus Vox Media, which was founded by Amit Doshi.

“The reason I believe in audio is that there’s huge market [in India], but there’s [not enough quality] content,” Shinde says, adding that “a lot of people create podcasts because they think its easy — that’s a myth.” AudioHop already has four shows ongoing. This includes one in partnership with Fittr, an online health community, on food histories and our contemporary relationship with items like cheese, potatoes, almond, and soya. The host for this show is fitness entrepreneur Jitendra Chouksey, founder of SQUATS (Systematic Quantitative Unified Aesthetic Training System.

Another such featured podcast is in collaboration with columnist Sudha Menon. Called Fabulous at Fifty, it is a spin off from her 2018 book, Fiesty at Fifty, and deals with a lot of otherwise taboo or unspoken topics in a relaxed manner. The Fittr podcast especially has found favour with listeners, he says, claiming to have over 7,000+ unique listeners within two months of the show. “I see podcasting as an immersive experience,” says Shinde, adding that most podcasts have kept to a typical chat-show-like format.

According to PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019-2023 India, “India’s music, radio and podcasts market was worth ₹5753Cr in 2018, up from ₹3890Cr in 2014…Podcast listening has increased markedly in India in the past few years. Monthly listeners (defined as people who listened to at least one podcast in the last month) totalled 4Cr at the end of 2018, up a sharp 57.6% from 2.54Cr in the previous year. This made India the world’s third-largest podcast-listening market (after China and the U.S.), although it ranks much lower on a per capita basis. Growth is set to continue over the forecast period with listener numbers set to increase at a 34.5% CAGR to 17.61Cr by 2023.”

Piyush Shinde

Perhaps the reason Sweden-based audio streaming platform Spotify is targeting its India expansion plans with localised non-music content, like original podcasts. Launched just yesterday, these include a cricket podcast called 22 Yarns with former TV host Gaurav Kapur, a show on relationships called Love Aaj Kal, and a fictional thriller called Bhaskar Bose. Other global platforms like Audioboom, Overcast, Apple Podcasts also have had a slew of Indian shows with stars and independent content producers alike.

Shinde has two more shows coming up by the end of this month, and aims for his content to go niche in 2020. More shows that aim to bring thought leaders and changemakers into the podcasting space, he says.

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