India spent over 700Bn hours of screen-time in 2021, expected to rise 3x by 2024. User consumption trends indicating 4 out of 6.36 daily-average hours spent on audio streaming steers the audio platform’s growth
Gurugram, June 2022: Fuelled by pandemic viewing and digital penetration, audience-consumption patterns have seen substantial growth across digital platforms and storytelling mediums since 2020. People’s desire to consume more stories, especially locally-made, has been made apparent by the growth in paid digital subscriptions that have seen a 78.7% spike in 2021, according to a joint report released by FICCI and EY.
Last year, India spent over 700Bn hours of screen-time across platforms leading to a pressing need for existing OTT, Film & TV production players to meet the rising demand for story consumption, paving the way for an emerging new medium of storytelling through audio platforms. Combined with user-consumption trends across audio-streaming platforms, there’s a rapidly growing market for digital-audio players to enter the playing field and enable creators to tell their stories through this medium. Since 2017, India has witnessed the emergence of homegrown audio platforms such as KukuFM PocketFM, Pratilipi FM, Headphone, etc.
Users spend an average of 6.36 hours on digital devices, out of which nearly 4 hours are spent daily on audio platforms, including music and podcast streaming, especially in non-metros that comprise 50-70% of this audience.
These consumption patterns have created a massive demand for a new age of audio storytelling and opened up opportunities for budding writers to tell their stories and make a sustainable living out of it.
To enable budding scriptwriters to break into the industry by providing them with a platform to hone and showcase their writing chops and empower them to create sustainable income sources, Unlu — a one-of-a-kind platform for creators to upskill, collaborate, create and launch IPs, is coming together with Kuku FM – an Audio Writing Platform to make the writers industry-ready and launch their debut originals on KuKu FM.
Commenting on the burgeoning creator community, Tansha Batra, Head-Partnership from Unlu, says, “There are more than 50Mn writers across India, but the opportunities have been limited to a very few in the past decade. The emergence of Audio Writing platforms & other digital platforms provides immense opportunities for these writers to come ahead, do what they love & make a living out of it. We at Unlu are just helping to fast-track the whole journey.
Going live in July 2022, the Audio Story Writing fellowship built through this association will enable up-and-coming writers to hone their craft through an intensive learning program taught by industry experts like Satya Vyas and Saurabh M Pandey and find sustainable income opportunities fuelled by their craft.
Fahad Tausif, Writer Community Manager at Kuku FM, explains the opportunities for budding writers, saying, “The market for audio stories is expanding at an unprecedented rate, and there is plenty of opportunity for new talent. We’ve launched an Audio Story fellowship with Unlu’s excellent faculty to help emerging authors master the craft of audio story creation and monetize the content they care about. This collaboration between Kuku FM and Unlu will serve as a light of creativity and a call to all budding fiction authors, letting them know that they are valued here. Our goal is to empower the writing community and provide them with a platform to tell their stories.”
Audio writing is just one of the many creative skills that Unlu is preparing the next generation of creators for. The education-to-employment platform envisions facilitating a thriving community of screenwriters, singer-songwriters, music composers, and a multitude of artists of various creative disciplines.