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On the podcast wagon

Anila Kurian, DH News Service, Nov 29 2017, 23:11 IST

In a world where visual content is taking over, somewhere, with a few listeners, a podcast clip is making its mark.

Even though our country has a large number of active bloggers, podcasting is still at a nascent stage. However, many are still attempting to make this a popular means of producing content.

To many, it's a way to gather information and learn something new from it without the distraction of visuals. Food stylist Ambica Selvam says, "I was first introduced to it by my colleagues and I loved it. I enjoyed the fact that it was not only easy to create but also convenient to use. It can be short, crisp or long, and it's so engaging. To add to it, it only takes one sensory organ to indulge in this experience, as opposed to other mediums."

She enjoys listening to podcasts that share people's stories, food and photography, standup comedy, culture, subcultures and history, unsolved mysteries and mythology.

"The mood and the narrator's voice intrigues me to listen to the whole clip," she adds. As a listener, all you need is access to the internet, an electronic device and headphones (if you don't want others to hear it too). That's probably why Surabhi Chatrapathy found this medium an interesting one.

She explains, "I started listening to podcasts last year. A friend of mine explained how to choose a podcast. It did seem a little daunting, especially if you choose to listen to serious and informative content like I did. But I've realised that the key is to listen to the first five minutes and if that doesn't catch your attention, then pick something else."

For this student, podcasts are not just a way to gain information but a way to help you think differently. "I listen to fun content, especially when I'm taking long walks or trying to fall asleep. I also like listening to podcasts that talk about history; they really help me relax," she adds.

Since the topics of a podcast can be anything, people can listen to it whenever they want to. Content writer Ruby Paulson's first encounter with audio files was when her mother listened to audio cassettes on her way to work. But she jumped on the podcast train quite recently.

"I was researching for a project I was working on and that's when I stumbled upon a podcast channel called 'Radiolab'. What fascinated me the most was that I was immersed in the experience. It gave me a different perspective on things and answered the questions that I wanted answered," she says.

Since then, she makes sure that she doesn't miss any of the channel's podcast. She further adds, "I think the podcasters in India aren't as great as you would like them to be. And we also have a competition with radio in our country. Podcasts are very interesting and more people should explore it."

As podcast channels can be accessed from any part of the world, some content creators are using this to their advantage.

Radio Jockey Sriram Sullia is using this as a means to upload radio content for his international audience. He says, "We have a lot of listeners who have moved abroad but still want to listen to the show. Podcasts are the perfect way to do that, especially because they can listen to it at their own time. And what makes this medium interesting is that it is personalised and talks about anything under the sun. There are no filters to it. And as a creator, all you need is a mic and a laptop."

He also adds that podcasts are what blogs were sometime back.

"Since voice commands and voice controls are the in-thing now, you can listen to any type of content you want through various podcast channels. There are no advertisement rates; it's purely just content."

So, which podcast are you going to listen to?

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