India continues to hold appeal to podcasters who see an opportunity to reach more than a billion new listeners, many of whom speak English. Libsyn has become the latest to expand to South Asia. The company is partnering with Gaana, the Indian music streaming service, to distribute Libsyn-hosted podcasts on the Gaana platform.
“The Gaana partnership will make it easy for their 150 million users to discover and consume the great podcasts on the Libsyn platform by making them directly available on a service they already use every day,” said Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn. “We are thrilled for the accelerated growth that Gaana will bring to podcasting and look forward to working directly with Gaana to make it very easy for all of the shows hosted on our service to opt-in to their platform.”
Gaana is the largest music streaming service in India, and through the distribution agreement its 150 million monthly active users will have direct access to the more than 69,000 podcasts hosted and distributed by Libsyn. “India has seen tremendous growth in the podcast space in the past six months, and Gaana has been at the forefront of that growth,” Prashan Agarwal, CEO of Gaana, said in a statement.
Libsyn has created a custom destination for Gaana allowing podcasters to control the timing and number of episodes they release to the Gaana audience, including the ability to release exclusive content to the Gaana platform.
There has been both expansion and retreat from the Indian marketplace during the past year. Both Acast and Voxnest partnered with the streaming service JioSaavn to distribute their contents to the region. Spotify has also entered the market, and by some measure has overtaken Apple as the biggest podcast listening app in the country.
Voxnest’s Mid-Year Podcast Industry Report said this month that India is the second-fastest growing market in the world for the company during the first five months of 2020, with only Turkey growing more quickly.
Yet at the same time, Audioboom announced this month it would close its office in India andfocus on core markets like the U.S., Australia, Canada and the U.K. “To succeed in India, we would need to operate there with an entirely different strategy than we do in our other regions as the market is very nuanced,” CEO Stuart Last wrote on Twitter.