The video begins with a vibrant, modern college girl, cruising in her car, pulling up next to a roadside food cart selling Samosas. There, we find, Laksham Agarwal, affectionately known as Lucky, haggling over the price of Samosas. The girl, amused by Lucky's frugality, invites him into her car, driving him away to a luxurious 5-star hotel.
Inside, her boyfriend awaits, perplexed by Lucky's presence. He rudely asks if she's decided to feed Lucky instead of a stray dog. She retorts, saying she wanted to give Lucky a glimpse into the affluent lifestyle of the rich, to remind him of his stature in his poor life. Throughout this exchange, Lucky remains silent.
A waiter is summoned, but upon seeing Lucky, he drops his tray in surprise, addressing him respectfully as 'Lucky Sir'. The boyfriend and girlfriend are taken aback, their confusion deepening as the waiter presents Lucky with the hotel's most expensive champagne, saying, 'Sir, here is your usual'. The boyfriend, now irate, sarcastically asks if Lucky's father will foot the bill. The waiter calmly replies, 'Lucky Sir doesn't have to pay for this drink'.
As the scene unfolds, a voiceover chimes in, 'A man who haggles over samosas is treated like royalty in a 5-star hotel. Why? To unravel this intriguing tale, tune into 'Insta Millionaire' on the Pocket FM app."
How can one overcome the temptation to click the link and download the app?
This was the Pocket FM's advertisement for their flagship audio series, Insta Millionnaire. The ad itself was a captivating live action video, but the series is an audio series with subtle animations and subtitles. If you're a frequent YouTube user, chances are you've come across this advertisement. Insta Millionnaire has taken the audio industry by storm, receiving a staggering number of fans.
When I first discovered this series, I was filled with excitement to delve into the story and uncover the behind-the-scenes process of creating such a gripping narrative spanning nearly 800 episodes. In this newsletter, we will explore the enchantment of Insta Millionnaire and provide you with a sneak peek into the world of audio series in India. Let's get started.
So what is Pocket FM app?
Pocket FM is as an audio entertainment platform, presenting a plethora of captivating audio series spanning various genres such as romance, horror, thriller, and drama. Founded in 2018, Pocket FM has successfully secured a total funding of approximately $109.5 million. While the platform offers both fictional and non-fictional series, it has gained widespread recognition primarily for its exceptional fictional audio series.
Picture these audio series as akin to daily soap operas on television, with each episode lasting around 10-15 minutes. Pocket FM has curated a compelling collection of immersive stories that transport listeners into diverse worlds, engaging their senses and imagination.
Now, let's explore the central figure of our newsletter—the captivating series known as 'Insta Millionnaire.' This intriguing audio series revolves around the life of Lucky, a young college student whose world takes an extraordinary turn when he suddenly becomes a billionaire overnight, coinciding with the day his girlfriend ends their relationship. Spanning over an incredible 800+ episodes, the series takes us on Lucky's remarkable journey as he navigates his newfound wealth, seeking not only financial success but also a sense of personal vindication against those who once humiliated him.
With each episode lasting approximately 15 minutes, the story leaves listeners eagerly anticipating the next installment, as it concludes with a suspenseful cliffhanger that tugs at their curiosity. 'Insta Millionnaire' immerses its audience in a heartfelt narrative, where they can experience Lucky's transformation and eagerly anticipate the unfolding of his intricate tale of wealth, redemption, and personal growth.
What makes the series interesting?
This story is about the dreams of regular people as they go to sleep at night, imagining a world where all their problems disappear and they become rich by pure luck. The main character in 'Insta Millionnaire' actually lives this fantasy, allowing listeners to experience it through his perspective. This story has gained a large following, even in the United States and other countries. It's loved by people worldwide because it has something for everyone. If you're looking for a journey filled with dreams and possibilities, this story is a perfect choice to share with others.
The series has four versions in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Cliffhanger and hooks:
Here is a scene from Episode 1:
The series starts with a powerful scene where Lucky, working part-time at a pharmacy, gets an unusual delivery request for a packet of condoms and tissues from a male customer to be delivered in a hotel room. He goes to a hotel room only to discover his girlfriend cheating on him with his close friend. This heartbreaking revelation leads to their breakup, blaming it on his perceived lack of money. And there ends the first episode ends.
This moment, designed to captivate the audience, shows how great the series is at telling stories. With each episode's conclusion, a carefully constructed cliffhanger leaves listeners yearning for more, fueling their desire to continue the journey alongside Lucky. This clever use of surprise keeps the audience hooked and makes them crave the next part.
How is the series produced and written?
The 'Insta Millionnaire' series is available in four different versions: English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. Each version has a team of dedicated writers who work separately in their respective languages. Although the main story remains the same in all versions, each author has the freedom to add their own characters and plotlines that fit with their specific language.
For instance, the English version of 'Insta Millionnaire', the main character has superpowers and encounters supernatural elements. In contrast, the Hindi version focuses on an ordinary person who embodies cultural values. These different adaptations reflect the cultural influence in each version and connect with their specific audiences.
The video nudge:
In our regular media consumption, we tend to gravitate towards either audio podcasts or video content. However, the audio series of 'Insta Millionnaire' breaks away from convention by employing an innovative approach, utilizing animated comic book-style visuals to convey the narrative. Particularly in the initial episodes, these animated elements serve as a valuable aid, enabling listeners to visualize the characters more vividly and immersing them deeper into the story.
The audio series cleverly combines animated visuals, audio, and subtitles, creating a multi-dimensional storytelling experience that enriches the overall narrative. While the animated visuals are predominantly present in the first few episodes, they gradually phase out, transitioning into an audio-only format for the remainder of the series. This decision helps the audience engage with the story through sound, sparking their imagination and making them feel more connected to the characters and plot.
Spin off series:
To attract more viewers, the creators of the Insta Millionnaire series have been trying new things like spin-offs and related stories. These efforts aim to keep existing fans interested and bring in new listeners to discover more about the franchise's expanding world.
Pocket FM coins:
The Insta Millionnaire series has proven to be a lucrative endeavor, amassing nearly $5 million (as communicated by Pocket FM team) in revenue across languages. But how does this series monetize its offerings? Enter Pocket FM coins. Initially, a few episodes are freely accessible to listeners, after which they have the option to purchase and unlock subsequent episodes instantly using Pocket FM coins. Alternatively, users can wait for the app to unlock a new episode the next date.
To entice users and reduce barriers to entry, Pocket FM provides one hour of free content daily. However, despite this, the overwhelming desire to uncover what happens next often drives users to utilize their Pocket FM coins to continue listening to the series. Recently, Pocket FM has transitioned from a subscription-based model to a pay-per-episode approach. The team behind the app cites affordability concerns as the primary driver for this shift, acknowledging that the higher subscription cost acted as a barrier for some users.
While the introduction of Pocket FM coins aimed to lower the entry barrier, users are now expressing difficulties in affording the individual chapters. Complaints have surfaced regarding the perceived high cost of each chapter, ultimately making the overall audio series experience more expensive compared to traditional hardcopy books. Additionally, users have raised concerns about the lack of flexibility in adjusting playback speed, skipping to different chapters, and other desired functionalities.
These user concerns highlight the ongoing challenges faced by Pocket FM in balancing revenue generation while meeting the needs and expectations of their audience.
Indian cinema is currently experiencing the season of Pan-India stories, driven by the phenomenal success of films like Bahubali and KGF. The film fraternity has diligently strived to crack the formula for crafting narratives that resonate with audiences across the diverse landscape of India. Pocket FM's Insta Millionnaire emerges as a remarkable testament to this pursuit, seamlessly blending a universally appealing storyline with cultural customization.
The series's ability to captivate listeners lies in its gripping writing and cost-effective production. It showcases the potential of well-crafted narratives to not only amass an engaged audience but also generate disproportionate returns.