— The Future Is Sound
In a world where audiobooks, podcasts and voice messages are gaining in popularity, the US audiobook market, the largest in the world, has reached an estimated value of $ 1.5 billion, set to grow at an annual rate of about 25%. But it’s not just about audiobooks. There is Clubhouse, which has given way to several new social networks including HearMeOut, Audlist, Riffr and Listenche that define themselves as “voice social networks”. There is Discord, in the gaming world, which has launched the “Your Place to Talk” campaign, inviting non-gamer consumers to join the platform and engage in audio conversations.
There’s LinkedIn, on which you can now upload audio as a feature of each profile. And then there are all those sonic therapies, like gong baths and meditation apps, which massively surged during the pandemic.
But what is driving this new era of audio? On the one hand, the attempt to combat visual fatigue from the screen, on the other the feeling that audio technology is just as interesting but less invasive than video. People increasingly see digital audio as a two-way medium, rather than a one-way consumption. Participation through speech is completely voluntary. Every day you choose whether to be a consumer or a creator of words, speeches, discussion groups, with an ecosystem that is based on comparison and interaction.