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Bhargavi Swami

Listening in the age of Binge Watching: Podcast a Pandemic revival

Podcasting is a niche and exciting space in Asia especially in the Indian sub-continent; however this format of content celebrated its 17th Year this February. Podcasting a term coined in 2004, has given wings to more than one creator as the power of content creation and selection was put back in the hands of the consumers, the people ‘you’ and ‘me’ making big Studios, channels, production companies stand up and take notice.

The most levelling thing about a podcast is that it lets anyone from anywhere record and curate a Podcast of any topic under the sun, right from the season’s latest hats to children travelling to space, the best manure for your gardens or how to get that greasy stain off your pots, financial market brouhaha to the science behind medical discoveries, engineering to factories, cotton candy flavours to story behind a hit single. Anyone anywhere with a voice and an imagination can now create content with minimal equipment from a home studio and distribute it at a nominal cost to free on chosen platforms to a worldwide audience.

Why did a 17 year old format suddenly pick up during the pandemic? This perhaps is the hero of our story as people’s pattern of consumption has gone beyond binge watching our favourite shows on the video streaming platforms and the need for constant new content on a weekly basis. The flexibility of format and agility of the turnaround time of a Podcast has made it one of the most preferred methods of consuming content worldwide. While the eyes are tired of constant visuals, the mind is ready and open to imagine and create new universes through the exciting world of Podcasts. The short and long format ranging from 10 minutes to 1 hour episodes of Podcasts are appealing to the wide range of listeners.

People Who Matter Podcast, a ‘made in India’ Podcast was the brainchild of the auteur and Podcaster, Bhargavi Swami. She has been a successful Entrepreneur, leading an ‘all woman team’ of Human Resource Consultants as they cater to Multinational companies, small and medium businesses and Startups across India, Singapore and Dubai. Bhargavi had the access through her business to job seekers and job givers ranging from freshers to Senior Executives which gave her a unique perspective of both sides of the coin. This helped her setup the content curation division of her company providing Podcast IP’s to brand and she started the People Who Matter Business Podcast that dealt with topical issues of everyday work, life, career changes, staying relevant and adapting to a changing eco-system, tips for young entrepreneurs, gauging the art of successful Startup exits and so on and so forth.

She designed the Podcast in a ‘talk show’ format inviting guests who had achieved career milestones like Corporate and business leaders from booming to disruptive Corporates and Startups. Best selling authors to celebrities from Films, Sports. Policy makers and women in leadership roles who share their story and throw light on the next normal and the wave post Pandemic. The show has completed 2 very successful seasons and has reached an organic audience of 100 k subscribers worldwide.

The most recent accolade was releasing the latest season exclusively on Audible to a worldwide audience, a season recorded completely during the lockdown phase of the Pandemic. The new Season 3 of People Who Matter Podcast, provides hope and future goals as we come across the “reinvention stories” of the guests from various walks of life residing in India and USA, The Podcast connects on the human level with guests who managed companies, created content, boosted people morale, chose unconventional career roles, managed family emergencies and tragedies, did a career pivot and continued inspiring people during the pandemic phase. This Season also has two new segments of deriving the “Mantras of Success” from the guests as Bhargavi tries to understand the reasons someone is successful and how the listener could pick up a tip or two to make adjustments to their life or thought process to move ahead.

The other new segment is a virtual “Never Have I Ever” with a few different house rules when it comes to getting the guests to spill the beans. It is a unique and exciting segment for a business Podcast to also access the human, fun and lighter side of the guests in a never before way! Bhargavi believes that this exciting platform of Podcasts is going to be the next new in corporate communication and branding.

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