DEC 2023
Dear fellow Homo sapiens sapiens

I can talk, write and podcast to you today because of an early ancestor - The Ape That Spoke. I borrow the phrase from the title of a 1991 book by John McCrone on the reasons we didn’t reach the evolutionary dead end that was the lot of our cousins—speech and the development of language.

Turns out, the case McCrone made for voice 33 years ago was made again recently by IMARC. The global podcasting market size (US$ 17.9 billion in 2023) is expected to hit US$ 144.1 billion in the next 8 years (26% CAGR). The three main amplifiers of voice will be tech adoption, monetization opportunities and diversity of content, leading to higher listener engagement.

That last bit has worked well for us at Timbre this year; we’ve touched listeners with podcasts in areas as diverse as Generative AI (Birlasoft’s Tech Lyceum), Observability (NSEIT’s Thoughthive), Pride allyship (Accenture’s Pride FM and Cummins’ Powerpods), current affairs & politics (Frontline On Air) and insurance for NRIs (Bajaj Allianz’s Life Goal Talks), to name a few.

That said, my money in 2024 is not going to be on a specific theme but really on a kind of voice. The one that belongs to the person experiencing a brand, product, idea, or organisation. In the latter case, we’re betting on employee advocacy. We turn 14 in January 2024, and the most frequent visitor on our corporate podcasts has been the regular employee—as a beneficiary of an employee benefit on occasion, a receiver of an award, a pursuer of an extracurricular interest or even a follower of a best practice, but always, always as an ambassador for workplace culture. Hence our case for the Employee Podcaster.

Are we firing ourselves as Podcasters for India Inc., then? 😊 Nope, we see ourselves as partners in helping companies groom in-house podcasting talent and, in turn, helping grow our tribe.

An aside - the word ‘podcasting’ was first used 20 years ago in an article in The Guardian on the subject of a new “audible revolution.” Contributor Ben Hammersley pondered what to call this new phenomenon. “Audioblogging, podcasting or guerillamedia?” he asked.

In early 2024, Timbre Media will announce a new brand that, in its name and what it offers, will be a tip of the hat to both Ben Hammersley and The Ape That Spoke.

Happy New Year!

Seetal Iyer
Co-Founder & Head of Content