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 a rising demand for story consumption, in turn 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 been witnessing the emergence of homegrown audio platforms such as KukuFM PocketFM, Pratilipi FM, Headfone etc
Users are currently spending an average-daily time 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 compromise 50-70% of this audience.
These consumption patterns have not just created a massive demand for a new-age of audio storytelling but also 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 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 KukuFM – an Audio Writing Platform to make the writers industry-ready and launch their debut originals on KuKuFM.
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. With the emergence of Audio Writing platforms & other digital platforms, it 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.
Explaining the opportunities for budding writers, Fahad Tausif, Writer Community Manager at KukuFM said, “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 as a whole 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.