Get your earful: The HT Smartcast podcasts you must hear
Over 18 months, HT Media’s podcasting wing HT Smartcast has launched more than 150 podcasts across 40 genres and 6 languages. On offer is news (and fake news busted), entertainment, tips on personal finance, discussions on climate change, health, poetry, true crime, sports, history and more.
“The process of discovery and growth in this nascent medium is enjoyable to all, podcasters, producers, marketers and distributors,” says Deepti Ahuja, HT Smartcast’s podcast producer. “Our audiences come from metro, Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, and there’s a balance between men and women, which is rare, considering that men make up about 70% of the podcasts listenership worldwide.” Among the fastest-growing and most interesting HT Smartcast podcasts are:
Drama Down Under
This one is hosted by Meghna Kriplani, content head for HT’s Health and Wellness website, Health Shots, in conversation with Dr Niveditha Manokaran, a dermatologist, venereologist and clinician in sexual and reproductive medicine. While Meghna has written about women’s health in for over 12 years, Dr Manokaran has been using her social media accounts to break the stigma and bust myths about sex and the vagina. She posts @dr_nive_untaboos. Together, the two women go where few people tend to go – down under. The show, which airs every Friday, helps you understand your vagina, how to care for it and ways to pleasure it. “There were so many questions about what is happening down there that women are not talking about to friends or families,” Kriplani says.
Fever FM’s RJ Rahul Makin, along with fellow cricket enthusiast and HT Smartcast marketing executive Shikhar Varshney, 21, were Smartcast’s pre-match analysts for the IPL season. Unfiltered, up-to-date, and ever-enthusiastic, they discuss memes, trends, superstitions and tarot card predictions, the drama on field and off it. They each both a unique perspective to the game. “We’re all cricket fans, but we come from different times,” says Makin. “I’m old-school. I was born in an era when Kapil Dev was playing. I grew up watching Sachin play. I watched Dhoni pass the baton to Kohli. Shikhar represent the new class of cricketers, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant.” When the league returns, Cricbaazi will too.
WhatsApp University: Jhakaas ya Bakwaas!
It’s important work, segregating fact from fiction amid the barrage of forwarded “news” clips, memes and videos that have collectively come to be known as Whatsapp University. Radio Nasha RJ Rohini Ramnathan and HT executive editor Sachin Kalbag pick viral shares and tell you which ones are real and which are just yanking your chain. Recent guests included comedian Rohan Joshi, who talked about his struggle and success with booking a vaccine slot in Mumbai.
Politics for Dummies
Radio One RJ Aniket is the “dummy” and retired Indian Foreign Services officer and former diplomat KP Fabian is the teacher. “The idea was to offer insight into politics in a fun way,” says Aniket. “So I figured, let me be the person who asks all the dumb questions to save you from public embarrassment.” Fabian brings history, insight and personal experience to the table. In a recent episode, he discussed Israel’s motives for its recent actions in Jerusalem.
Why Not Mint Money
This daily podcast on personal finance is hosted by Mint’s personal finance and money teams. Each episode is a few minutes long, and helps listeners decode key questions such as how to choose a financial planner, and navigate taxation after withdrawals from one’s Employee Provident Fund.
Metronome – The Music Podcast
Hits and the misses from India and around the world, with a dash of trivia and a sprinkling of the classics. Music journalist Samarth Goyal talks new releases and plays short clips to whet your appetite. A recent episode featured Katy Perry’s Electric, 23 by American Idol’s Chayce Beckham, Breaking the Rules by Jubin Nautiyal, and Bitch I’m Back with Sidhu Moose Wala. And then there’s the trivia. Did you know that one of the bestselling music albums of all time is the score of a 1995 Hindi film, composed by AR Rahman? It sold over 15 million units and was on the Guardian’s list of 1,000 albums to hear before you die. Guess the movie, or tune into Episode 80 of Metronome to find out which.
A View from the Stands
Yes, yes, they talk about cricket. But the hosts of A View from the Stands, HT’s national sports editor Rudraneil Sengupta and chief cricket writer Aditya Iyer, also talk about other sports. They’ve covered the IPL and Test matches but also talked tennis, football, boxing and more. There’ve been interviews with Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, and the WWE legend The Undertaker. They’ve discussed in depth the state of women’s cricket in the country, and talked about depictions of sports in movies. Tune in!
(HT Smartcast podcasts are available on htsmartcast.com as well as on Spotify, iTunes, Gaana, JioSaavn, Wynk and Google Podcasts, among other platforms)
Listen up: The podcast boom in numbers
India is the world’s third-largest podcast listening market (after the US and China), with57.6million , according to a 2020 report by PwC. It’s a number with plenty of potential to grow. The US and China have over 100 million monthly listeners each
• 6 million
HT Smartcast, the podcasting wing of HT Media, saw its listenership jump to over 1 million monthly listens in March 2020. By March 2021, that number had grown to 6 million monthly listens
• $1.7 billion
The podcast market in India is expected to be worth an estimated $1.7 billion by 2024, according to the PwC report