Edison Research’s 2023 Infinite Dial report showed that 87% of the US population age 12 or older listened to online audio in the past month, an increase over the 73% in 2022’s report. However, the nature of the online audio market is shifting away from the traditional forms of music and “talk show”-type podcasts toward something much more ambitious and immersive: narrative audio series.

Why audio entertainment is the disruptor to the entertainment industry

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Revolutionary digital storytelling app Pocket FM recently conducted and released a survey called “Digital Entertainment Insights: Audio Takes the Centerstage,” revealing that 90% of respondents in the United States reported tuning into audio entertainment daily. From these responses, it is clear that audio series are no longer merely an alternative form of entertainment but a dominant form of entertainment in and of itself.

The key finding of “Digital Entertainment Insights” was an investigation into why audio series are becoming such a dominant force in the entertainment industry. Half of the respondents cited the medium’s storytelling capability as their primary motivation to seek out audio entertainment, while 1 in 3 emphasized its convenience, and another 1 in 3 prioritized the diversity of content the medium provides. Pocket FM leads the pack in delivering the winning combination of these three qualities.


How Pocket FM leads the pack in audio storytelling

Pocket FM is an innovative platform specializing in long-form audio entertainment, earning them the title “pioneer” in the audio series format. After launching in India in 2021, Pocket FM’s popularity skyrocketed in its home country and has since expanded to reach a massive global audience with its bountiful library of engaging must-listen series.

Traditional wisdom holds that people tend to turn to audio content when they are on the go, and Pocket FM’s audio series are a perfect way for people to keep themselves entertained when their other senses are occupied — such as when driving or on their commute to work. Yet Pocket FM’s report shows that the medium also has the potential to be so much more; audio series can provide a tool for listeners to destress or boost their productivity, perhaps even provide a much-needed feeling of escapism in general.

Binge listening and microtransactions: a revolutionary new model for audio content

Pocket FM revolutionizes the audio content industry by introducing the concept of “binge listening.” Like binge-watching television and web series, binge listening entails a user listening to several episodes of content back-to-back in a single session, but the status quo of audio entertainment platforms is not equipped to support this habit. According to Amplifi Media, of the millions of podcasts online, 44% have produced three or fewer episodes. Pocket FM disrupts this model because its series have episode counts ranging from the hundreds to thousands, giving listeners plenty to get hooked on.

Even better, Pocket FM’s library of content is extraordinarily diverse in both genre and localized storytelling. The platform has series in various genres, including romance, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mythology, suspense, and more, meaning everyone can find something they love to listen to, regardless of their interests. Pocket FM also takes pride in delivering “blockbuster-quality” audio series, meaning they are just as exciting and cinematic — if not more so, thanks to the medium’s unique ability to tap into listeners’ imaginations — as any film or television show.

Some of the most popular series on Pocket FM’s platform include “Insta Millionaire,” “The Return,” and “Saving Nora.” These gripping audio series are designed for binge listening, with episodes broken up into bite-sized pieces to allow users greater flexibility over their binge. If users only have a quick break to listen to their favorite audio series, they can enjoy just one or two episodes, but if they’re looking to fill hours, they can listen to episodes on end. For some of the platform’s flagship audio series, the average listening time per user is 150 minutes or more.

However, unlike many services, which require users to pay a monthly subscription fee to access their content — including the content that users might not want to listen to — Pocket FM offers a microtransactions model in which limited free episodes are provided daily, and users can pay for access to additional episodes to continue their binge. This model allows listeners to sample different shows to figure out which one(s) they like best before going all-in on their binge.

The growth and success that Pocket FM has seen are proof of the effectiveness of its binge listening approach and microtransactions model. The audio streaming industry is ripe for disruption as users are becoming increasingly frustrated with sticker shock, and a platform like Pocket FM — that allows them to choose what they want to listen to — is the solution.