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Audio Series emerging as India’s next big entertainment platform

Audio Series emerging as India’s next big entertainment platform

The entertainment landscape in the country is getting reshaped quite in line with that of the world. The meteoric rise of Audio Series is quite palpable. This innovative medium has been capturing audiences worldwide to such huge levels that a significant shift in digital consumption habits is on the cards. Audio Series has come of age with its individual appeal while wading through the digital evolution that saw the rise of audio streaming, podcasts and audiobooks. Almost two decades after audio streaming began in 2001, Audio Series has been cashing in on serialized audio fiction’s growing appeal.

After getting hooked on to this appealing option, many users are spending more time on the platform. A serialized and immersive experience with high quality storytelling has been the key factor for the growing user engagement. When it comes to the market size, in 2023, the total addressable opportunity for global Audio Series market is estimated at $21-25 billion, with projections suggesting a doubling in value by 2027, marking a substantial opportunity in the digital consumption landscape.

The total addressable market of India’s Audio Series landscape is expected to grow from 350 million users in 2023 to 540 million users by 2027. Over the last two years, spearheaded by India and the US, adoption of audio series accelerated across developed and emerging market. Globally, the market is growing at a CAGR of a whopping 640 per cent, implying 40X growth between 2021 and 2023. Although in a nascent stage as an entertainment format, Audio Series is garnering massive engagement of music globally and is nearing that of video streaming, which is currently the highest in the media and entertainment sector, suggests a recent study.

Experts say that factors such as content quality, variety and flexibility in listening times are making the format more accessible to users in India and elsewhere. While users have expressed satisfaction across multiple parameters, including personalized recommendation tools, there is a demand for better pricing and flexible payment options. Interestingly, the Audio Series landscape had 10-11 per cent of paid users in India last year, with micropayment packs fueling the growth of this demographic. Although the demographic is presently limited, owing to the newness of the format, paid user penetration is almost on par with that of its counterparts in OTT video in India.

Micropayment facilities bring in an element of affordability while allowing users to only pay for the content they use instead of the entire library. As regards India, Audio Series enjoys an NPS of 55 per cent with 63 per cent of the listeners identifying as promoters and only eight per cent as detractors. Google Podcasts, Spotify and Pocket FM report the highest sentiment score built on customer satisfaction and a positive experience with newer formats. The overall positive sentiment surrounding the top Audio Series platforms is expected to translate into an increase in word-of-mouth recommendations, which are critical for driving user acquisition in the space. In terms of the key entry point for Audio Series listeners, the research document feels that 38 per cent of the users learnt of properties through YouTube ads, 37 per cent through social media ads and about 17 per cent through referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations.

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