The pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways – we are working distantly, socialising virtually, and consuming entertainment content online. This has extended to a point, where a recent CMR study has revealed that Indian users currently prioritize audio quality in smartphones over camera quality, thus emphasizing on the demand for audio OTT apps. This has made audio OTT platforms the sweet spot for content creators to connect with their audience. There are multiple ways in which audio OTT apps are influencing and enhancing the creator economy:
As a music label
In the digital streaming era, the music industry has undergone a rapid transformation making it accessible for aspiring musicians to carve a niche and gain exposure without the backing of heavily monetized music labels. With the rise of audio OTTs, budding artists now have a cost effective platform by having to shell out a minimal cost of INR 1,000 to release their tracks and interact with their listeners directly. Due to low costs as compared to releasing songs via other mediums the industry has seen a growth of 150% adding up new and independent artists in the past one year
Streaming platforms have also brought about a change in the listening habits of people, who are now discovering indie music. By offering independent artists a stage, audio OTT platforms have augmented the future of music placing the reigns directly in the hands of creators.
Providing recognition and increased fan base
Being user friendly, audio OTTs no longer just represent the millennial and Gen Z, as one would presume, but also include the influx of millions of new users across age groups. This allows creators to connect with a wide range of audiences to promote their content across all age groups. The principal driver for this boom could be the sheer choice and convenience of content consumption.
Some key initiatives to entertain users and promote artists can be justified by specially crafted playlists by budding artists and the promotion of podcasts that see a trend across all platforms even if it were to be by a new host. Another key initiative by audio OTT has been the introduction of live streaming on the app where artists can host virtual performances/live jam sessions and engage with their audience directly thus creating and enhancing their fan base. In the past year, the industry has seen 150 + live gigs performed on audio OTT by both national and international artists.
Non-music creator push
Podcast consumption has experienced a steep uptake globally, with some of the best storytelling, debates and motivational conversations last year coming from podcasts. Audio OTT platforms in India have welcomed a host of independent entrants and creators in a wide range of genres to produce audio experiences for its users.
Enabling monetization of fandom
Audio OTT apps have become a viable monetization model for content creators. These platforms offer creators easy access to online tools to measure impact and evaluate returns-on-investment (ROI). Contextual data and parameters such as location, preference, mood, number of hits etc. paint a clear picture of user behavior, which gives creators an accurate look into the audience, enabling them to effectively target similar consumers. It also helps them create a community of like-minded people through online programming for personalized listening experiences.
Furthermore, aspiring creators on the basis of their talent can also land a chance to collaborate with experienced performers who may already be associated with the app. These opportunities can provide independent entrants a platform to grow and create additional revenue streams.
In many ways, it has been a watershed year for audio OTTs and creators associated with these platforms. Audio OTT apps have generated various avenues for creators to effectively streamline content, analyse user engagement and monetize their work. Also, the inclination of platforms towards content rooted in regional sensibilities has been strengthened. It’s no wonder that creators have increasingly turned to audio OTT platforms to create content and directly engage with their consumers. By all means, audio OTT platforms have ensured a well-stocked inventory of creative content and playlists for its listeners, asserting that even in the face of an unprecedented crisis, the show must go on.