- Priyanshu Trivedi
Will Shortform Audio be the next Social Networking Trend?
As we moved into our homes for a refuge through raging times it was technology what came to rescue from monotony and boredom. People started spending time on their phones and laptops. Innovators looked upon to increase the values of conversation and group discussions a lot more. This led to advent of a new hot form social media. Open mic sessions via these platforms.
The change was led firstly by Clubhouse. An invite based social media application which allowed audio rooms to be created and users joining and involving in discussions based on the theme of the room. It looks to be successful as of now due to the hype generated from its exclusivity due to the fore mentioned invite only methodology. It also got users get the adrenaline rush of being involved in audio conversations among strangers, providing them freedom to even talk and just hang out in open - minded discussions.
Social media giants did respond to the growing trend with enabling the audio room service as a feature on their available platforms. Twitter was quick to respond with its new feature called Spaces and is performing well among the popular Tweeters and allows them to communicate with their fans better, boosting the reach. Facebook is also planning to come out with a similar Live Audio Platform soon, which is already in beta testing. Progressing upon the recent trend of the audio platforms, a new emerging platform even shorter, “Short Audio” platforms are also up on the rise. To several investors and innovators, it is the future of audio, of it being social, shareable and provocative, or then again, at an absolute minimum, make you need to tune in and say something. The idea has popped after the success of Tik Tok in the international market and they want to repeat the same but with audio. They expect to be another cash generating platform where somebody can become a celebrity and acquire fame. Several startups like Beams, Quest, and Pludo have come forward and betting their innovations and observe the business opportunity in user generated audio content.
“[Once we had blogs] we then had tools like Twitter and Tumblr that removed all of the complexity and just said, ‘You don’t need to think of yourself as bloggers, just type words into the box and press publish,’ and that led to this unlock of so much creativity,” says Austin Petersmith, the founder and CEO of Racket, another shortform audio platform that’s currently in beta and has raised an initial seed round of funding, although Petersmith wouldn’t disclose the amount. Giving people an online microphone and a time constraint, he says, makes podcasting easier to approach.
In the interim, for financial backers, the shortform audio bodes well as an approach to expand on the accomplishment of live social audio apps and develop them, basically in one in all of financial backer's mind. Jake Chapman, an investor in Racket, one such platform, brings up different issues he sees with live audio. In particular, discussions veer off course from the given room point, similar to the idea of discussion, and on the grounds that they're live and not recorded, essentially for Clubhouse's situation, the application can't optimize for discovery.
Podcasting also has also existed along with upcoming platform and big tech companies didn’t back from funding and acquiring and enabling the reach. Amazon recently acquired a podcasting hosting company along with podcasting network Wondery. Spotify had spent its share of money acquiring several exclusive content and deals. Spotify also bought podcasting platform Anchor which allowed users to create podcasts using their phones microphone, in a role to democratize podcasting and bring in more content creators.Anchor also wanted to be a go to platform for consumption of podcasts but seems to have failed in doing so.
A challenge for these startups is the availability of the content. Cross platform availability helps them achieve a better and greater audience. Some do well on YouTube, some do via Apple Podcasts etc. The new audio platforms look themselves on presenting locked down content. The huge question lies ahead of us how the short audio platforms will succeed, when a lot of enthusiastic consumers are hooked to existing platforms.