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Podcasting Trends in China, US and India

Published: 10 May 2019

Earlier, there was time, when word of mouth was the only way to teach lessons. With the advancement, over the years, people started learning through reading. At present, with the advent of podcasts, people are again adopting the same old method of learning by listening to people speak.

The huge growth in the podcast industry can be seen in the last 10 years. Countries like the US and China are doing good in the podcasting. The podcast is becoming the popular medium of content consumption in other countries, including India. If we talk specifically about the Indian market, podcasts are gaining attention gradually and have huge growth potential there. Indian audience loves the entertaining and insightful content that can be consumed while doing other tasks. According to industry experts, the podcast will grow exponentially in India in the next few years.

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Podcasting in China

According to research, the Chinese podcasting industry is 23 times larger than the US Podcasting market. The reason is; In China, podcast subscriptions are paid while in the US, almost all the podcast is free and ad-supported. In 2017, China generated a revenue of $7.3 Billion mostly through subscriptions.


Educational podcasts played an important role in this growth of podcasts in China as people there are more towards education than entertainment. People in China prefer podcasting as a career choice rather than a normal day job. Many University professors had quit their jobs and started their own podcasts. They are generating enough revenue by charging subscription amount as small ad $3. An individual podcaster in China, having an audience of about 250k, easily makes $8 million per year.

Podcasting in US

The US is one of the advanced markets for podcasting. In 2017, the revenue of $314 Million was generated through advertising. The US is more towards advertisements than paid subscriptions and downloads. That's the only reason the most popular podcast "Serial" made around $500K only in its first year after 19 Million downloads.

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Podcasting was started in the US in 2004. Entertainment based podcasts are more popular among the US audience. In 2014, the podcasting was about 1.7% of audio consumption while in 2018 it is increased up to 4% with a 14% increase in the number of women listening to podcasts. 64% of Americans are well aware of the term podcast while 44% have listened to the podcasts in the year 2018. 25% of people listen to the podcasts at least once a month. Out of all the listeners, 69% of people listen to the podcasts on their mobile device.

Podcasts in India

In India, the podcast industry is still growing. India has various regional languages, hence, along with Hindi and English, podcasts are also available in local languages like Bangla, Tamil, etc. 77% of Indians listen to the podcasts on their phone while 2% on tablets. Most of the podcast listeners lie between the age group 18-34 years. People of this age group are either students or working, hence listen to the podcasts in the morning or evening. The podcast consumption rises on weekends.

The Indian podcast industry is still growing and has a long way to go before generating a revenue of some meaningful size. Indian podcasters are dependent on advertisement, subscriptions, creating content for publishers or licensing content to other sites.

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