Why digital, social audio will be the most dominant and lucrative medium of the next years.
Maybe you lived under a rock for the past two years. Maybe you missed the billions made in podcasting and how the Clubhouse hype made every social giant give birth to a new audio feature in a blink of an eye. If so, the easiest way to still cope the immense potential of audio is looking into what video was for the past decade. Every big technology platform that captured our valuable lifetime switched their focus from (just) images to video content. Instagram went wild. TikTok went even wilder. YouTube has been wild all the way.
No wonder, one third of the kids today do not wanna become a fireman or astronaut anymore but…a YouTuber (which by no means is such an easy job if you look at the high production effort it definitely takes to become successful). In the end all that is still worth it because video captures our attention and engagement (and with it the advertising money) like nearly nothing else. Nearly.
Studys have shown again and again that regarding consumption and attention span, video really is just audio without light. Accepting that fact, there are two main reasons why it will be the most important and rewarding medium of the next decade.
With all the millions of moving images in front of our eyes there is a subtle peace when for once in our +8 hour screentime shifts we are consuming content without using them to look at a screen (again). It can be unbelievable relaxing and inspiring to our imagination at the same time to not easily get catered all the pre-made images right away.
Audio is way easier to produce. “WRONG!”, will everybody who ever took part in a podcast production scream in their head right now but let us elaborate. It’s true, radio and podcast shows need an extensive amount of planning, recording and post-production, all supported by high end gear and software to keep up with the relentless competition on the battlefield of the streaming platforms. But thanks to Clubhouse (and Voiyal) there is also a new player in town: “Social audio”. With it’s spontaneous and low-cost, low-effort creation it captures exactly the “off the record” authenticity and intimacy people are craving for in these super distant and digital times.
And it’s exactly this “craving” that’ll make audio the most dominant and lucrative medium of the next decade!
The biggest difference to the past video-decade that current audio creators can build from the start on these days is not a bigger ad budgets or cheaper technology but a “1.000 true fans”. Even if this great essay by Kevin Kelley is already a decade old, the direct-fan-funding concept nowadays is more relevant than ever.
Thanks to the prospering creator economy of the recent years, ignited by a global crisis and people staying at home selling nude selfies on their OnlyFans it could be even adjusted to: “100 true super-fans”. Platforms like OnlyFans, TikTok and YouTube (Channel Membership) have shown, that even with just a few hundred loyal fans and the right tools anyone can become a creator earning decent money of creative work. No wonder after the pandemic there are now already 50 million of this young craft worldwide and counting because let’s be honest: Creating [on your own terms] is fulfilling as fuck!
Love what you do more than your possessions!
“If you take a traditional job where you’re employed by somebody else, you can’t actually be yourself,” notes Josh Constine, a principal investor and head of content at SignalFire, one of the leading creator venture capital firms. “In the modern age, self-expression is so integral. We identify ourselves by what we do and how we spend our time.” As a creator, freedom of expression is now finally met with financial freedom.
In Chris Anderson’s 2006 book, The Long Tail, the thesis says: Products in low demand can collectively make up market share that rivals or even exceeds the blockbusters, but only if distribution is large enough. “For too long we’ve been suffering the tyranny of lowest-common-denominator fare, subjected to brain-dead summer blockbusters and manufactured pop. Why? Economics. Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching — a market response to inefficient distribution.”
This future of digital audio will be very exciting and very golden. The new creator economy that is not only single-handly relying on stiff ad budgets anymore BUT on the intrinsic financial motivation of the consumers themselves is changing the whole game. Tipping, direct subscription, micro-donations or other digital content sales are giving the creators the freedom that leads to more creatitivty and personalized content, more niche content where everybody finds it’s favorites. Nowadays more and more creators are serving (their own) market which is demanding seemingly “personalized” content. There is, or will soon be, something for each of our tastes. “Content isn’t one size fits all anymore. And finally, people of every type of background and demographic can see themselves represented in entertainment and have their interests catered to,” Constine declares. The more diverse content that exists, the more likely there will be an audience for it.
And with every new and satisfied audience there will be another successful creator — making a living of owning, sharing and selling her passions, her art and her voice with their communities.
So what are you waiting for? Start sharing your Voice on Voiyal today and bring your fan relationships to the next, intimate level!