The popularity of audiobooks is rising due to their ability to cater to multitasking. With audiobooks and podcasts, you can have entertainment or gain knowledge while doing other chores like household chores/traveling. One such audio streaming startup that hit the market is Pocket FM. But how does Pocket FM make money? How did it become successful within five years of establishment? You will get answers to all such queries in this article.
We have covered the the full business model of Pocket FM and discussed the numerous revenue sources along with its working and marketing strategy.
Pocket FM: A Brief Overview
Pocket FM is a mobile audio entertainment platform that offers a wide range of audio content, including audio stories, audiobooks, podcasts, and other audio programs. You can access Pocket FM through its mobile app, which is available on both iOS and Android platforms. The audio content is available in multiple languages offering both free and premium content.
Let’s have a brief overview of the company
|Company’s Name||Pocket FM|
|Type of Company||Audio series platform (Audio Streaming)|
|Founders||Rohan Nayak, Nishanth Srinivas, and Prateek Dixit|
|Headquarters||Gurugram (Haryana, India0|
|Tagline||“Audio for All.”|
|Operating Space||B2C (Business-to-Customer)|
|Market Valuation (FY22)||Undisclosed|
|Revenue (FY22)||Rs.17.55 crore|
|Expenses (FY22)||Rs.189.15 crore|
|Net Profit/Loss (FY22)||Loss of Rs.171.6|
The three key parts of the Pocket FM business model are-
- Working Strategy
- Revenue Sources
- Marketing Strategies
Working Strategy: How Does it Work?
When Pocket FM was launched in 2018, it was almost non-existent. It neither had significant users nor considerable streaming of audio. But now it has over 8 crore users with streaming of over 108 crore minutes. It has achieved this milestone through its brilliant working strategy that comprises the following points-
1. Content Collection
During the initial days, Pocket FM faced difficulty to find any content in the audio ecosystem. Because the audio world was not that famous in those days. Therefore, the first working strategy of Pocket FM was to locate content creators having pre-existing audio audiences and content. So, Pocket FM on-boarded those creators on its platform. Now, it focuses on creating and creating a diverse range of high-quality audio content –
- Other forms of audio entertainment.
Thus, this platform works by collaborating with content creators, voice artists, and authors. So that it can produce original and exclusive content that resonates with users and keeps them engaged. In the freemium model, you
2. Freemium & Subscription Model
Pocket FM follows a freemium as well as a subscription model. In the free version, you can access only a limited amount of free content. But in the premium subscription plan i.e., “Pocket FM VIP” you can enjoy numerous benefits such as-
- Ad free listening
- Unlimited downloads
- Access to premium content
These subscriptions are not only beneficial for users but also for Pocket FM. Why? You may ask. Because it generates additional revenue! It allows the company to monetize its content and generate recurring revenue to sustain its operation. We will discuss it in detail in the section “Revenue Sources- How does Pocket FM make money?”
Pocket FM VIP membership is available in 1-month to 12-month plans. You get the membership for 1 month at just Rs.99 whereas, the annual subscription costs Rs.599.
3. Language Diversity
This is one of the best features of Pocket FM. It takes care of the diverse linguistic preferences of the Indian audience by offering content in multiple languages. Such as-
This localization strategy allows Pocket FM to tap into the regional markets and therefore, gather a wider indigenous audience.
4. Usage of Technology & Innovations
Pocket FM uses advanced technology to enhance the user experience. Here, the objective is to stay ahead of the competition in the audio entertainment industry. Its exclusive features include-
- Personalized recommendations
- Offline Listening
- User-friendly interface
- Content library expansion
Revenue Sources: How Does Pocket FM Make Money?
Now, here comes the most anticipated part of this article. “How does Pocket FM make money?” It generates revenue through diverse revenue sources. Do you know, in the financial year 2022 it earned a revenue of Rs.17.55 crore?
Following are the major revenue sources of Pocket FM-
1. Subscription Fees
As you have read above, you need to pay a certain amount to access “Pocket FM VIP,” the subscription model of PocketFM. The fee structure is-
- 1 month: Rs.99
- 1 year: Rs.599
Although, it seems an affordable amount. But, it is the major part of the revenue. Thus, its revenue is primarily driven by membership and subscription fees. It accepts the following currencies while selling premium memberships-
- Indian Rupees
- US Dollar
- British Pounds
- Australian Dollar
- Japanese Yen
- Chinese Yuan
- South Korean Won
- Polish Zloty
The platform offers premium ad-free content that is only available to VIP subscribers. Thus, it incentivizes users to subscribe to the premium. Thus, it generates revenue through subscription fees. Subscription fee model is similar to PharmEasy and 1mg where you can enjoy additional benefits.
Being an entertainment app with a large audience, it is a good platform for advertisements. Therefore, Pocket FM monetizes its platform through advertisements. Advertisers can promote their products or services on this platform by paying a certain amount of money. The advertisements include-
- Sponsored content
- Brand integrations
- Targeted audio ads
Thus, advertisements serve as an additional source of revenue for Pocket FM. In case, you are a freemium user, then you would see ample ads while listening to the audio content. But in “Pocked FM VIP” you won’t see any ads. Thus, you can say that the freemium model and advertisements are interconnected with each other for revenue generation.
3. Partnerships & Collaborations
Here, Pocket FM partners with influencers and stakeholders for sponsored content and brand promotions. As you have read above, it gathers content creators. Pocket FM collaborates with content creators, publishers, and authors to produce original and exclusive content for its platform. These collaborations may involve revenue-sharing arrangements, where Pocket FM earns a percentage of the revenue generated from the content created or distributed on its platform.
It is quite similar to advertisements. Here, the pocket FM partner with advertisers, influencers, and other stakeholders for the following-
- Brand promotions
- Sponsored content
Thus, it generates a considerable amount of revenue.
Marketing Strategies: How Does it Gather Audience
Pocket FM employs a variety of marketing strategies to promote its platform and to gather the audience. Some of the marketing strategies employed by Pocket FM may include:
1. Digital Advertising
Pocket FM may use digital advertising channels, such as online display ads, search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing and social media advertising to reach a wider audience and promote its platform. This may involve targeted ads based on user demographics, interests, and behavior to effectively reach potential users.
2. Influencer Partnerships
Pocket FM may collaborate with influencers or content creators in the audio or literary space to promote its platform. This can involve influencers creating content, endorsing the platform, or running promotional campaigns on their social media platforms or other online channels to increase awareness and attract new users.
3. App Store Optimization (ASO)
If you visit the app in the Play Store, you will see interesting screenshots of the app. These alluring screenshots and positive reviews encourage the audience to install the app. Pocket FM optimizes its app store listings, including app titles, descriptions, screenshots, and keywords, to improve its visibility and ranking in the app stores. This helps to increase organic downloads and attract new users to the platform.
4. Referral and Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Pocket FM implemented referral programs to incentivize word-of-mouth marketing. In its initial days, each user got Rs.10 on each referral. This Refer-Earn offer was quite successful. Because it encouraged existing users to refer new users to the platform. The refer-earn offer included- referral bonuses, discounts, and exclusive content to users who refer new users to the platform. Thus, it helped to gather a large user base for Pocket FM.
Pocket FM is an Indian audio entertainment platform that offers a wide range of audio content including audiobooks, podcasts, stories, and more. So, we hope that you got the answer to your question “How does Pocket FM make money?” Its business model primarily revolves around three key aspects: working strategy, revenue sources, and marketing strategy. Its business model was effective and successful. Although, Pocket FM is under huge losses now. But its business model was quite effective and successful in gaining popularity.