There are short and long answers to this, but we’ll try to stick to the in-between. We know how you guys don’t like to spend too much time reading, but require some meat in the story.
The main reason podcasts are gaining in popularity right now in Southeast Asia is that the format is uniquely suited to the less routined lifestyle that is becoming more commonplace. From the variety of topics to the fact you’ve got it on Spotify or you can download it, makes podcasts an easier option for most people on-the-go.
We see it as information and entertainment, in bite-sized chunks. The format lends itself to a deeper dive into many subjects that most other platforms cannot do or don’t want to do.
One of the more interesting aspects that seem to be an attractive feature of the medium is that podcasts often create communities. It is a more personal way to share information, stories, trends and serious information. It’s a way of finding like-minded individuals who share your interests. And often times, these communities create a kind of feedback loop with listeners generating content for the podcast producers.
Who are the podcasters you should know
In Southeast Asia, we’re seeing the startup community drive the podcasting industry forward. From Asia Tech Podcast to Asia VC Cast, there is a lot of content out there that is helping drive the startup and VC community forward with insightful interviews and analysis of the industry.
Other great podcasts to follow that cover the startup scene in the region include Analyse Asia and The Jay Kim Show.
Besides the startup industry, lifestyle, general business and consumer matters continue to be a popular topic for podcasts in the region. Even the traditional media is getting into the podcasting game with radio stations starting to provide their shows in podcast format, which from what we can see if really expanding their reach. Many great examples are from Singapore, with stations like MoneyFM tying up with their print counterparts to publish their podcasts on multiple platforms.
Are podcasts here to stay?
There seems to be a slow-growing groundswell that has gained local popularity in markets like Indonesia and Malaysia. Lifestyle podcasts, content creators and media platforms have adopted the podcast as a potential tool for engagement, so consumers are starting to pick it up.
If we use the US as a barometer, this will continue for some time and explode onto the scene with podcasts becoming the go-to source for news, entertainment and business content that we feed on.
So in our opinion, yes, it is here to stay and we’re excited.
I too have recently gotten really into podcasts and I honestly think they could be a great medium if utilized by companies. I like that you mention “It is a more personal way to share information, stories, trends and serious information” because I would agree. There is something about a podcast that feels really genuine. Just a couple of people having an interesting conversation usually in someone’s kitchen, office, or living room, and you can tell in the best way. It provides intimacy and humanity to the medium. I think this is revolutionizing the way people receive news and engage with each other. Podcasts seem to be relatively new and I can’t wait to see how they shape the PR world.