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Podcasts find new fan base amid testing times

Podcasts find new fan base amid testing times

BY ARUNDHUTI BANERJEE  

Mumbai:  The lockdown has helped increase the popularity of podcasts. Along with OTT binging and television, podcasts have emerged as a new way to stay informed and entertained over the last three months or so.

Some of the most popular podcasts are the comedy shows “Umeed By Zakir Khan”, “Corona Se Jeetengey”, “DIY Karona” and “Cyrus Says”. A show like “Umeed By Zakir Khan”, conceptualised and hosted by the popular comedian Zakir Khan, talks about practical issues of daily life in a lighter vein.

“The coronavirus outbreak has had a profound impact on human life like nothing we’ve seen before. Early signs indicate that its effects will go far beyond the duration of the crisis. In these turbulent and uncertain times, hope and positivity are the primary compasses that can help us navigate through this darkness,” said Zakir.

“Empathy is one of the most powerful and necessary human emotions at this point in time. It’s heartening to see people spend more time listening to motivational and self-help podcasts like ‘Umeed’ on leading online music and podcasting platforms,” Zakir added about his show.

It is interesting to observe that not only chat shows with funny and entertaining content have gained popularity, but also shows on health tips and DIY are being appreciated.

“Corona Se Jeetengey” is a 10-episode inspirational series that highlights stories of human grit, ingenuity and generosity as we battle the greatest pandemic of our lifetime. “DIY Karona” is a comedy series that involves a bunch of intrepid characters in lockdown, trying to make DIY (Do It Yourself) audio shows for the larger good. On “Love Diet”, nutritionist Shikha Sharma shares tips on nutrition and diet to stay fit.

While the official reports show an increase of approximately 20 per cent listener every month, Amit Doshi, founder of IVM Podcasts explained. “There has been an evolution in the way people listen to podcasts. Earlier, our primary times of consumption were during commutes, workouts or doing chores. During the lockdown, we have seen a decrease in commutes and workouts, but an increase in the number of chores. This has lead to a wider duration of when people are consuming content.”

Cyrus Broacha’s is currently hosting the streaming show, “Cyrus Says”. We asked how he sees the increasing numbers of podcast listeners.

“It’s like Churchgate station at rush hour but with lots of social distancing. Podcasts couldn’t have had a better time. People have time but are bored and inclined to try something different. Also, people are talking about podcasts much more than ever before. Whether they follow Joe Rogan at one end of the spectrum or Cyrus Broacha at the other. That said I am sure Joe’s numbers will improve,” he quipped, trademark wit very much in place.

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