Given how entertaining and engaging they are, it’s no surprise podcasts are being used to drive paid subscriptions, Amar Ujala’s Neha Sikri says.
In an INMA ideas blog, the corporate brand senior manager says there has been a paradigm shift in how audiences consume content online, with trends and demands moving quickly.
One third of millennials listen to podcasts regularly, and digital marketers are adapting their content strategies to include this popular media. “A daily podcast isn’t just a marketing vehicle for a publisher; it also has the potential to generate substantial revenue,” she says.
Audio content allows the listener to multitask, making the podcast incredibly popular as the world becomes busier. “And people who listen to and engage with podcasts are more likely to become loyal customers as the relationship develops… leading to better engagement levels, increased brand awareness and more sales.”
Neha says Noida-headquartered Amar Ujala’s digital arm launched the Amar Ujala Awaaz podcast to amplify user engagement with audio products and keep the content strategy fresh. “Seeking a new audience, Amar Ujala Awaaz is an extension of the brand and another tool to get the content out in a way that is easily accessible,” she says.
The podcast was launched on the epaper subscriptions site and on the main website, with audio clips embedded to give audio summary of the current day’s top stories. “The user opens the app/website in the morning and just presses play to listen until they finish their commute.”
Five editions are currently live – for Lucknow, Agra, Shimla, Delhi and Meerut – and initial user response has been good. “Launching on all local editions will lead to more paid conversions,” she says.
Content includes local news, top stories of the hour, recitals, interviews, performances, events, Bollywood gossip and astrology. “All they have to do is tune in on the website and listen on the go.”
With more than 28 podcast shows running, the average session duration has seen a 50 per cent completion, with a million unique plays per month clocked. Most-used is a summary of the current’s day news embedded in the epaper, and Neha Sikri says 1.5 per cent of epaper paid subscriptions are coming from the podcast monthly.
“The pandemic’s unruly forces have expedited digital marketing growth in India,” she says. “In the restricted lifestyles of COVID-19, the podcast offers a screen-free way to consume stories and news, attend discussions, and enjoy interviews.
“Brands have shifted their budgets to the digital medium completely and started exploring new options within this virtual realm."