Audio OTT platforms have emerged as the most widely used platforms across viewers. We can say it has turned into a necessity instead of a luxury. Unlike in the past, when people would tune in to radio devices, walkmans, and buy cassettes for their cassette players, audio OTT platforms have completely transformed the way people listen to music.
The number of smartphone users and their music consumption on the audio OTT platforms have been increasing tremendously over the past decade. The perception shift from offline to digital will continue rising as the revolution has already begun and is ready for a higher stage. Indeed, audio companies are also realizing the need for a cutting-edge subscription-billing platform that can help them render the best subscription experience to the users.
According to IFPI’s Global Music Report 2018, the revenue from digital platforms for audio OTT contributes to INR 665 crore (78.5 percent) of the overall music revenue (INR 850 crore).
The Indian music market is segregated into specific domestic players like JioSaavn, Wynk, Gaana and international players like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music. YouTube Music is the most recent one, and has been doing well in the market, The subscription billing management differs from platform to platform and each have their unique followers and user base.
Though most of the audio OTT platforms are free of cost, a few charge monthly or yearly subscriptions to acquire premium access to a particular platform. Audio OTT players pay hefty license fees to the music labels for the content they source from them. As per the latest Deloitte-Indian Music Industry report, about 70% of the revenue generated by the domestic recorded music industry is contributed by the audio OTT platforms overall.
The OTT monetization system for audio platforms comes from 3 different model approaches.
a. Subscription-based model: – In this model, the user gets an uninterrupted experience with no advertisements to disturb the music flow, with a better music library. It gives the user the ability to listen to music offline and download the songs, unlike the free and ad-based models.
b. Ads-based model: This particular model provides free music to the listeners, which is impressive, but with the restriction of ads displayed from time to time. In return, the advertisers pay the audio OTT subscription billing system to display their ads, and they receive analytical data for review.
c. Bundled model: Audio OTT platforms are typically linked with third parties who provide consumers with ad-free access. The audio OTT platform and the third party share the final revenue. These third-party players are the network providers, mobile manufacturing companies, and subscription-based billing platforms.
As per the current situation, the bundled and ads-based models create the highest revenue for the OTT audio platforms. Their keen focus is on enhancing the subscription model and increasing revenue.
Nonetheless, no matter what, audio OTT platforms will require a more significant number of subscription-based users to earn actual profits and revenue in the long run. Currently, a mere 1% of the users fall under the subscription-based audio OTT model. They even collaborate with established and emerging artists to create original content or obtain exclusive rights to the artists’ work.