Despite the fact that audio OTT apps have seen a significant increase in usage in India over the last few years, the majority of them are still struggling to gain paid subscribers. Kuku FM, a Mumbai-based audio platform, has defied this trend. Kuku FM’s active subscriber base stands at 2.68 million, thanks to its vernacular content, with the audio OTT platform experiencing a 4X growth in active paid subscribers over the past year.
Kuku FM is a non-music audio platform founded in 2018 by Lal Chand Bisu, Vikas Goyal, and Vinod Kumar Meena that offers exclusive audio content in categories such as book summaries, audiobooks, courses, and motivational speeches, among others.
Kuku FM began with Hindi content and has since expanded to include content in seven additional regional languages in addition to English. On its platform, the startup currently has over 40,000 content pieces.
Kuku FM currently has 50,000 creators on the platform, with 60% of them being women. A creator’s content is only published on the platform after it has been curated by its team.
CEO Bisu shared the key strategies that helped the platform reach millions of paid subscribers at Inc42’s The Makers Summit 2023.
Before launching Kuku FM, the founding team spoke with a variety of users and creators to learn how they curated audio content and who the content’s consumers were. Before finalising any content strategy, the team also decided to use a trial and error method, which allowed it to experiment and zero in on the winning formula.
Kuku FM began with podcast content, but it did not work well on the platform. Following that, it examined user-generated content (UGC), which Bisu described as “a Twitter thread of audio content.” However, the audience did not respond well to the UGC content, so Kuku FM switched to long-format series content.