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Working on revenue models for enabling creators to monetise their content: Shashank Singh of Bakstage

Shashank Singh, CEO and Founder, FLYX and Bakstage, talks about how the new live audio-based app is placed in a crowded audio market and their monetisation plans

Shashank Singh

As audio as a medium gains momentum and prominence, people are increasingly using audio platforms for streaming music and podcasts, apart from exploring audio-based social networking apps available in the market. In this backdrop, Bakstage, a new audio platform, is looking to make a mark in the market.

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The live audio-based app is a creator’s platform available on both Android and iOS. It supports live and recorded conversations and is a fun, casual space for people to get together and freely talk about the subjects that are important to them or they feel strongly about.

Speaking about how the app is different from other similar platforms in the market such as Clubhouse, Shashank Singh, CEO and Founder, FLYX and Bakstage, said, “It facilitates meaningful conversations with real people, including prominent personalities from diverse backgrounds such as cricket players, film and TV stars, doctors and specialists and entrepreneurs. We ascribe great importance to the liberty of expression on Bakstage, and encourage conversations on issues such as LGBTQ discrimination and men’s sexual health that may be deemed too contentious or controversial on other platforms. No opinion is unpopular on Bakstage, and all opinions are welcome.”

Singh said Bakstage is a creator-first platform and they are working on various revenue models focussed on how content creators can monetise their content. “We will have tipping, subscriptions and pay per action enabled for these content creators. Simultaneously, we are looking at virtual shows where creators can sell and explore the idea of sponsorships. We plan to pay a large chunk of the revenue to the creators, while we would take a minimal technology fee. All brands, big or small, can leverage Bakstage to tell their story, and high-ranking executives and leaders from companies can share their experience and expertise with a diverse audience. They can utilise the platform to host events and shows to promote their products, or talk about the aspects of their offerings that distinguish them,” he added.

He said amid the second wave of the pandemic, content creators and brands have used social media in a commendable way to reach out and help the masses. The platform has started leveraging the content creator fraternity for various purposes, whether it is for entertaining people with their craft, imparting knowledge on their specific expertise or helping beginners with how to start, analyse and be consistent with their content.

“We are encouraging budding podcasters to join Bakstage and create not only live conversations but also record it as a podcast. These record podcasts are great content, which can be used for content marketing purposes and help content creators also monetise it.”

Audio platforms have gained acceptance in the last few years as they are convenient and content can be consumed easily. Audio platforms are also serving as an alternative to fill in the void caused by video fatigue, says Singh. He said in a data-conscious market like India, audio platforms have proven to be sustainable. Unlike in a podcast where a listener assumes a passive role, with Bakstage, they can actively engage in the discussion.

The platform will give creators the option of recording their rooms from day one, something which other competitors lack. “There are real-time conversations taking place on Bakstage every day— from the role of the mother during these turbulent times to people sharing their experience with the virus. Conversations like these set us apart from our competitors in the market. The engagement of the audience is real, they can raise their queries and discuss with the key speaker or panel of speakers. It’s like a podcast, but better in many ways since it involves audience participation. It is a place to meet with friends and with new people around the world – to tell stories, ask questions, debate, learn and have impromptu conversations on a multitude of topics.”

The app has various security features, including allowing moderators to ban certain people from entering chat rooms and ensuring strict action against bad behaviour. Speaking about the platform’s marketing plans, Singh said they are heavily relying on word-of-mouth and their goal is to make users the brand ambassadors of the platform.

“We see a great opportunity for brands to create their Bakstage and engage with their audiences directly without any restrictions. We believe brands are original creators and they will find Bakstage and its features very exciting. Brands are seeking new mediums to reach out to the consumers and audio is a great way to build a strong relationship.”

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