Here are the audio streaming apps that Tier II and Tier III India is tuning into
In this super-busy world, music can sometimes be the only medicine the heart and soul need.
Be it morning chores or walks, office downtime, the commute, or travelling, more and more people are turning to audio apps that offer content of their choice.
Audio content consumption in India is increasing due to the wide range of options available. According to a RedSeer report, more than 340 million songs were streamed daily, with podcasts registering a similar upward curve in 2021. As per the report, the consumption of audio content is mainly by GenZ and millennials.
These audio streaming apps allow Indian users to enjoy content – in English, Hindi, and regional languages.
Bengaluru-based, founded by Rohan Nayak, Nishanth KS, and Prateek Dixit in 2018, is an audio-streaming platform that offers over 1,00,000 hours of content with over 15 million monthly active users.
Content is available in eight languages - Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, English, Kannada, Bangla, and Marathi – and across genres such as romance, astrology, self-help, crime, horror, biography, etc.
Pocket FM operates on a freemium model. It launched a micropayment module on its platform last quarter to offer flexibility to its users to pay for content as they consume it.
The app is offering its users to consume one free episode daily with a 24-hour waiting period, or alternatively, unlock one or multiple episodes through its in-app micropayment mechanism.
The audio streaming app claims to have more than 50 million users and about three billion monthly listening minutes. It also claims that an average user spends over 100 minutes daily on the platform.
It is now strengthening its 200,000-strong creator community of professional user-generated content (PUGC) writers, voice artists, and other creative minds.
Mumbai-based, founded by Lal Chand Bisu, Vikas Goyal, and Vinod Kumar Meena in 2018, is a podcast platform. It hosts over 1,50,000 hours of content across stories, book summaries, audiobooks, courses, and podcasts.
KukuFM broadcasts audiobooks ranging from nonfiction to fiction, learning and inspiration, stories, entertainment, news, jingles, spirituality, poetry, and mythology.
Most KukuFM users hail from Tier II and Tier III cities, and create audio content in English, Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, and Tamil, among other regional languages.
The startup claims to work with 30,000 creators. Fifty percent of the content on the platform is exclusive.
Kuku FM claims to have crossed one million active paying subscribers in India.
In March 2022, KukuFM raised $19.5 million in a Series B round led by KRAFTON, 3one4 Capital, Vertex Ventures, and India Quotient to broaden its language offerings and consolidate content creation.
Gurugram-based, founded by Sandeep Singh, Pulkit Sharma, and Aankit Roy in 2017, is a one-stop audio repository for consumers and creators alike.
Its content includes current affairs, audio books, news, devotional chants and bhajans, health and wellness shows, sports, historical and mythological stories, celebrity interviews, comedy, radio stations, and more. It provides content in four segments: knowledge, government jobs, news, and inspiration.
Khabri’s core offering helps users prepare for various competitive exams for government jobs in Indian languages.
To strengthen its tech and product offerings, it raised $2.1 million in a pre-Series A round in August 2021 from Liquid 2 Ventures, Siqi Chen, Pioneer Fund, and Rebel Fund, among others.
New Delhi-based Hubhopper, founded by Gautam Raj Anand in 2015, is a podcast hosting, creation, and distribution platform. It provides a wide range of free-to-use features such as easy audio editing, detailed
analytics, podcaster microsite, hosting, distribution, and an audiogram tool, among others.
Hubhopper has over 50 million hours of podcasts, news, audiobooks, and more in about 15 languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.
In February 2021, Hubhopper raised an undisclosed amount from Hindustan Media Ventures to continue growing the podcast ecosystem in India. Along with the investment, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited bought a minority stake as a part of a strategic investment in Hubhopper.
Gurugram-based, founded by Prashan Agarwal and Sandeep Lodha in 2010, is an audio streaming platform. It provides both Indian and international audio content.
Photo: Gaana (owned by Times Internet)
Ganna has over 40 million songs and podcasts, and offers a wide range of audio content such as Bollywood songs, podcasts, international songs, spiritual content, etc. Its content focuses on news, comedy, motivation, workout, self-improvement, mood, kids' stories, and romantic stories, among others.
Users can enjoy the app for free but can also subscribe to ‘Gaana Plus’ for Rs 99 to enjoy unlimited offline song downloads, live shows, live concerts, live chats with artists, internet radio, and ad-free music.
The content is available in 21 Indian languages, including Bengali, Kannada, Odia, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Maithili, Malayalam, Hindi, English, and Urdu, among others.
(This story has been updated to correct a factual error in the first paragraph of the Pocket FM section.)