September 30th is the International Podcast Day and we were thinking of ways to celebrate the day. We figured that the best way to celebrate the day would be to talk to creators. In the run-up to Sep 30th, we’ll talk to creators about the life of a podcaster and publish a special series of conversations. After all, they make the magic happen.
Tell us a little about you and your podcast?
Nikesh: I am a prize-winning, widely published, widely translated author who abandoned the printed word for the medium of podcasts.
I write, narrate and produce two podcasts for Audioboom:
Indian Noir, which is the home of fast-paced, edge of your seat crime thrillers set in India, featuring Indian characters. Each season features a new story where heroes will fight against all odds and race against a ticking clock to save the day. These plot-heavy audio stories will have enough back-story and characterisation to deliver memorable heroes and allies and villains, but the focus is always on delivering a roller-coaster ride of action and thrills.
Slow Burn, which as I like to describe it, is ‘aural pleasure (see what I did there ;)) in the form of Indian horror, fantasy and sci-fi stories with romantic subplots. Each season will feature a new story featuring Indian characters and listeners are guaranteed a sizzling, passionate and romantic audio tale set in a variety of speculative fiction settings – dystopian futures, spaceships, haunted houses, a war featuring witches and mages – the possibilities are endless.
How long have you been podcasting and why podcasts?
Nikesh: For nearly a year. I started with recordings of contemporary poetry (which I still do occasionally), got an amazing listener base and lots of praise from some of the greatest living poets of our times. Then moved onto podcasting fiction via Indian Noir and Slow Burn.
The printed word and printed products are dead. No one has the time to read anymore. Audio and video content is the future.
Sure you can get published in some snazzy, snobby literary magazine – but who is actually reading your work. I was in that boat once too and barely got any reads. Now thousands of listeners tune into my recordings. If you are an artist, a creator you want your content to be consumed and appreciated, and it just so happens, podcasts are a great medium for delivering stories.
How has the journey of been so far?
Nikesh: Very good. Audioboom is a great partner and I love the Indian podcasting community on Twitter. I am definitely feeling the love and look forward to learning from others, improving my work, gaining more listeners and supporting other creators.
My recording technology and tools are sorted. I just need to keep at it, work hard and produce regular content that people want to listen to.
Your biggest challenges and frustrations?
Nikesh: I have had to move to a new city recently and I did not have access to the internet, my recording equipment and the time and space to write content. This meant that the release of the episodes for both Slow Burn and Indian Noir has been a bit sporadic, instead of following the bi-monthly release schedule.
But I have a new place now, my internet connection is live and my recording studio is set up – so, back on track.
The podcast scene in India is in its infancy – so at the moment there isn’t a lot of incentive to produce content. So sometimes it feels like you are operating in a vacuum or in an echo chamber with fellow podcast creators.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to wannabe podcasters?
Nikesh: Pick a unique topic/genre. Skill up in the recording department. Record and upload frequently. And keep improving. Most importantly, support fellow creators – I can’t stress how important this is, because they are your most important and loyal listener base.
What do you think is needed for podcasting to take off in India?
Nikesh: Constant listener where art thou???
We need listeners and better promotion. And the podcasting platforms have to pump more money into marketing to make this happen.
Please support Nikesh by following his shows wherever or however you listen to podcasts. Not just you, talk to at least 5 of your friends and get them listening to podcasts. Amazing creators like Nikesh could use all the support they can get.