After Leher, India now has another Clubhouse-like platform called Bakstage which went live on April 8.
Like Clubhouse, Bakstage is a platform where people can interact via audio conversations. And the app is available both on Android and iOS.
Shashank Singh, CEO and Founder of Flyx, a streaming social network platform where people discuss series, movies, among others, was planning to expand Flyx and offer a platform where people could talk about their thoughts.
"We wanted to create a space where people can have casual conversations. Like the movie communities are strong. They have Facebook and WhatsApp groups. But we did not want to do a text forum. Then in the West we saw the booming podcast space which was growing in India also. Towards the end of last year Clubhouse started trending and that was a validation for us that this market is strong and that there is a space for audio social network."
Singh is right that there is a market for audio social network. Along with Clubhouse trending in India, an audio-video chat social network platform called Leher also saw a strong surge in popularity in the last six months. In fact, Leher which had 150,000 downloads across Android and iOS in February saw its number of downloads getting doubled in around a week in that month.
A survey conducted by Flyx with over 550 respondents showed that 52.4 percent of users stream audio content on a daily basis. In addition, 66.2 percent of respondents preferred audio content for its ease of access.
This shows that Indians are interested in audio chat platforms and now they have options to choose from with the launch of Bakstage.
But how does Bakstage work?
"People can have any type of Bakstage from politics to movies, whatever users want to create. The one who creates the Bakstage can invite thousands of other users on the platform. The Bakstage can be recorded which then becomes like a podcast. There will also be chat inside the audio room," said Singh.
Currently, on the platform eight speakers can be part of a room and at a time 1,000 people can join a room. The platform aims to notch this number up first to 5,000 and then to 10,000 users joining a room.
While there will be some recorded content available on the platform for the launch, focus will be on live interaction. "We are talking to environment experts and local artistes to come on Bakstage," he added.
And how will the platform earn?
With Bakstage, Singh is focusing more on the creator community where artistes can go live on the platform with their talent and also earn through the performances. And with that, even Bakstage will earn money in the form of technology fees.
"If creators can make money from Bakstage then we will also. We will enable tipping. If you hear someone live you can tip them a certain amount. Then the fans can also subscribe to content creators. Creators will be able to come up with subscription plans," explained Singh.
While there is competition for Bakstage with Leher already in the market since 2018, Singh said that Leher started off as a debate platform and Bakstage is more for the entertainment side of things.