Do you like books like Dale Carnegie’s The Art of Public SpeakingRobert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor DadAnkur Warikoo’s Do Epic Shitand Shwetabh Gangwar’s The Rudest Book Ever? Do you like them in audiobooks form? Okay, do you want to listen to them in Hindi? Well, if you answer ‘yes’ to the questions, your place to visit is the e-commerce platform Flipkart.
For, it has entered the audiobooks category through a partnership with the audio streaming platform Pocket FM. With this partnership, Flipkart is also taking on its arch rival Amazon, whose Audible — launched in 2018 —tops the audio content streaming sector in India.
How to access audiobooks on Flipkart
Pocket FM, which officially launched its audiobook platform in March this year, claims to sell over 1,20,000 audiobooks every month. The Pocket FM audio collection, which will continue to exist on its platform, will also be now available through the Flipkart e-commerce app.
A statement from the companies said that users of Flipkart can access Pocket FM’s library of audiobooks, audio stories and pre-recorded podcasts through a sub-section on the main Flipkart app.
“This will help authors publish their work on our platform with the aid of audiobooks and give them the opportunity to reach out to our customer base. Flipkart will assist the author in receiving the appropriate exposure. We believe this collaboration will hold immense strategic importance for the audiobook market in India as we continue to address our users’ appetite for regional content,” said Kanchan Mishra, Business Head- FMCG, Home and General Merchandise, Flipkart.
Audiobooks: Still a nascent market
One of the reasons for Flipkart to get into audiobooks segment is that it wants to keep even with its competitor Amazon. But it also wants to focus on sectors like audiobooks, travel and pharma in a bid to get good valuation ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO) in the US in 2023.
Apart from Audible, other players in the audiobooks space in India include Google, Pratilipi, Storytel and Kuku FM. According to a 2020 Nielsen India report on books, around 63% of the general public still read physical books, while 31% read ebooks, and the remaining 6% consume content through audiobooks. The Indian audiobooks market has not grown in the way it was projected to. One of the reasons is that the platforms have not really hit upon the right revenue model.
There is confusion over whether audiobooks should be sold outright or be traded as in a library. Both Audible and Storytel, for instance, follow a paid subscription model. Also, a lot depends on the content that lend themselves to audiobooks format.
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