“The market for audio content in Hindi is still untapped in India”

Says Pranav Johri, Partner, Rajpal & Sons in conversation with All About Book Pubishing.

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Audiobooks in Hindi language are getting quite popular. Here, Pranav Johri, Partner, Rajpal & Sons, shares his views on the same.

Audiobooks in India…

“The market for audio content in Hindi is huge and untapped in India. For certain genres, it could even be bigger than the readership in Hindi! As platforms like Audible optimize their content mix and pricing/subscription models, I think this market is set to see big growth in the coming years,” tells Pranav.

On collaboration with Audible…

“Our collaboration with Audible at the moment covers over 400 titles from our booklist. Based on the trends that we observe regarding the nature and genre of content that do well in audio format, we try to add a set of new titles to Audible every 12-18 months,” tells Pranav.

On pricing of audiobooks…

“The pricing for audio content tends to have three major costs that have to be accounted for – the cost of production / recording of the audio content, the cost of the audio artist, and the royalty / license fee of the audio rights that have to be paid to the author, who is the original creator of the content. What makes the pricing model somewhat challenging is that consumers of digital content in India tend to find value in subscription models with low monthly fees. The audio platforms have to work hard to find the “sweet spot” to balance the various costs associated with creating audio content and the subscription fee that consumers are willing to pay for the content,” he replies.

Tends in audiobooks in India…

“There are two new trends that I have observed in the audiobooks space. One is the creation of 20-30 minute episodes from books which are part of a series, or have a large word count. This allows the content to be packaged in a more accessible form. The second trend I have observed is the optimization of pricing in the form of subscription models which are proving to be popular amongst audiobook consumers in India. Consumers are finding greater value in paying a flat monthly subscription fee which gives them access to a large selection of audio books, as opposed to paying for each individual title separately, also known as the a-la carte pricing model,” he shares.

On a concluding note…

“I think creating Series from long-running written content is a great way to package the content for audio. The packaging of content into smaller packets of 20-30 minute episodes makes it more accessible to a newer audience. Often this audience tends to be younger content consumers, who might not have read the content as a book, but end up consuming the content in an audio format,” concludes Pranav.

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