Computer genius to podcast kings
In 2020, when the pandemic year constrained numerous to be housebound, it was not simply baking time and binge-watching that got on.
There was a new star, shining bright on the horizon- podcast. As indicated by the Media and Entertainment Outlook 2020 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, India arose as the third-biggest podcast craving market on the planet after China and the US, with 57.6 million month to month audience members. Riding the wave was ex-Facebook computer programmers, Pratham Khandelwal and Yogesh Sharma, who launched Headfone, a social sound stage in 2017 keeping in mind the Indian taste. Owned by Bengaluru-based Diacoustic Labs Private Limited, Headfone engages podcasts listeners with different genres like stories, parody, talks, and instructive assets in numerous dialects while filling the hole among market interest for Indian language content. 31-year-old Pratham, Co-founder and CEO of Headfonesays, “Audio content is very different from video or text because of how easy it is to engage with. The fact that we can engage with it while we perform other tasks makes it particularly appealing to consume throughout the day." "The audio format is also special in a way that you as the listener become part of the story. On Headfone too, listeners love to become part of Horror, Fantasy and Romantic stories, " he adds. Accessible on Google Play, Headfone makes and share audio content with audience across India. While on one side it connects podcasters, narrators, artists and powerful orator to the passionate audience, it likewise works with authors, voice-over artists, sound architects and musicians to create unique audio series on the platform.
Within three years, Headfone has gotten one of the greatest appraised apps on Google Play, with 4.8 stars and over 5 million installations. Right now, the stage has around 3,00,000 bits of audio content across in across 25 Indian dialects by content makers like RJs, famous authors, and unseen narrators. The startup has a little group of 10 and has raised absolute financing of $3.75 million out of two rounds of funding. The founders say they need Headfone to be the "YouTube of audio storytelling" with an emphasis on India. Silicon-valley to Bengaluru Pratham and Yogesh, companions from before, were also associates who worked together at the Facebook HQ in California as programmers. With both being graduated class of IIIT Allahabad, they bounded over the fact that the two of them hailed from humble communities in Rajasthan.“We had a lot in common, and we often discussed the ‘India’ that lay outside of the cities,” says Pratham. Co-founder and CTO, Yogesh, 28, told YourStory that while the two of them understood that Facebook did well as a content and photograph sharing network, and YouTube collected a higher portion of the video social market with Instagram and different stages contributing, no stage obliged sound in a comparable scale.
“We felt that audio was fundamental to human connection, and a lot more spontaneous than text or video. Combined with a belief in audio as a channel and knowing Tier II and Tier III India as we did, we decided to come back to India and start Headfone in 2017,”
Yogesh says. At first, Pratham and Yogesh were more inclined towards Silicon Valley, because the greater part of their substance was tech hefty. Later on, they realised that their audience wanted variety in their content.“We realised that India is a land that is rich in stories, and there are people out there narrating stories in diverse genres like horror, love, the works of Premchand, and so on. This got us thinking that audio is also a medium that enables high-quality story-telling with minimal investment of resources or learning. That was reason enough for us to start working with storytellers in India and featuring their stories on Headfone,” says Pratham.
Business model and growth Headfone is free to use app currently. The team is experimenting with various paid models. “We are at the pre-monetisation stage but have already started experiments around premium content,” says Pratham. The pandemic is adding to the company’s growth. “We recently crossed the 5 million installs mark, and of that, we saw 4 million installs in 2020 alone. About 25 percent of our users are actively using the app every month and the time spent on the app is going up,” tells Yogesh.
As far as makers, the organization has seen near 500,000 tracks being uploaded on Headfone, with 85% of them being transferred over the most recent 15 months alone. Pratham claims that in the course of the recent three years, Headfone has become a solid community and a social network in itself and an informal organization in itself “You can follow people and channels created by them, comment on their work and actively collaborate as well. The individual followership itself has crossed 600,000 across several influential individuals." A couple of horror channels have crossed the 1 million subscribers mark also. Inspirational speakers like Naman Sharma have seen their directs close in on 150,000 subscribers in a short timeframe, showing that great substance in Indian dialects gets significant followers in India," says Pratham.