Himalaya is a good company, but paying for knowledge is not a good business?

“Ye Haoxuan is young, at best he is only twenty-two or three years old. Even if he knows some medical skills, how can he be called a genius doctor…”

On the taxi home from the airport, Xiao Yu was “forced” to listen to several audiobooks with the driver .

The driver told Xiao Yu that audiobooks are very popular in their industry recently. “The main reason is that driving is too boring, and it is easy to be distracted in chatting. It seems’popular’ to put a little voice.” When asked whether listening to audiobooks will affect driving, the driver repeatedly denied. “There are still so many people listening to the radio, no, it’s fine.”

In recent years, the long audio frequency has once again been blowing in the market. Compared with video, long audio is more flexible and has more usage scenarios. From the perspective of the market environment, the epidemic last year directly promoted the development of Long Audio, and the explosion of Clubhouse at the beginning of the year gave Long Audio software the hope of making a circle.

Himalaya is a good company, but paying for knowledge is not a good business?

After the epidemic, giants such as Tencent and Byte entered the game successively, and the “three-legged” situation of Himalaya FM, Litchi fm and Dragonfly fm (hereinafter referred to as Himalaya, Litchi, and Dragonfly) was broken. In addition, China Central Radio and Television also launched “Cloud Listening”, marking the official entry of the national team into the director’s audio market.

In the past, old rivals such as lychee and dragonfly were eagerly watching. Later, there are giants and the national team ready to go. Can the top company Himalaya continue to maintain its advantage?

One or nine years of accumulation, but the Himalayas are showing signs of fatigue

The Himalayas, established in 2012, have gone through nine years. In the Internet age, nine years is enough time for a company to grow into a behemoth. The profile on the company check shows that in the long audio industry, Himalaya has a market share of 73%, and it is a well-deserved leading company. But on closer inspection, the Himalayas are not so beautiful on the surface.

(1) Revenue growth has slowed down, losses remain unchanged, and payment income is difficult to support

According to Caijing.com , in early July, Himalaya, which had submitted its prospectus, suddenly “braked” and cancelled its plan to go to the US for an IPO. In the context of the upgrading of network security supervision, the future of Himalaya, which has a large amount of user information, is uncertain about the way to go public in the United States. With the escalation of the long audio market war, the demand for funds will continue to increase. However, the Himalayas has not yet made a profit, and its difficult situation is evident.

The prospectus shows that although the revenue of Himalayas from 2018 to 2020 is 1.476 billion yuan, 2.677 billion yuan, and 4.05 billion yuan, respectively, showing a continuous upward trend, in fact, the growth rate is gradually slowing down.

In addition, Himalaya’s net losses in the same period amounted to 774 million yuan, 773 million yuan, and 605 million yuan. Although the loss range has been narrowing, it still fails to conceal the fact that it has not yet achieved profitability.

In terms of revenue business composition, subscription payment and advertising are its main revenue models. Subscription payments in 2020 even contributed 1.7 billion yuan in revenue, accounting for 43.3% of total revenue, but the actual payment rate is not high. The prospectus shows that the monthly active member payment rates of the Himalayas from Q1-Q4 in 2020 are 7.9%, 9.0%, 10.2%, and 12.2%, respectively. Based on the 104 million monthly active users announced, the number of paying users is still less than 14 million.

Compared with Tencent Video, which is also the head of the video industry, as of the first quarter of this year, the number of paid service members of Tencent Video has reached 125 million, and the two are not at the same order of magnitude.

Although in a certain sense, the low payment rate means a lot of room for growth, Himalaya has been operating for nine years, and the payment rate is still “not high”, which undoubtedly increases its future development risks.

(2) Pursue the breadth of content and lose the right to speak in the vertical field

In terms of product positioning, what Himalaya is trying to build is a comprehensive audio platform. Therefore, the content is very diversified, not only audiobooks, radio, cross talk, music, but also basically covering all types. The content production is mainly based on PGC (Professional Production Content), and the content presentation effect is better.

But the diversification of content did not bring Himalayas. On its hit list, the long-term dominance is mostly online audio books, followed by pan-entertainment content such as cross talk and storytelling. Of course, entertainment content is conducive to customer acquisition, but Himalaya itself does not have a content production platform. Today, as anti-monopoly is intensifying, even QQ Music has lost Jay Chou’s exclusive copyright. It is difficult for Himalaya to form its own content moat with authorization alone.

Himalaya is a good company, but paying for knowledge is not a good business?

The volume of audio books is significantly higher than others

Source: Himalaya’s official website

Audio certain length or a good business, according to Ai Media Consulting predicts that by 2022 China’s online audio subscribers have hope liters to 690 million people. Long Audio still has a lot of room for development. Himalaya’s top priority is to create products that are truly out of the circle and form their own content moat.

2. Content differentiation brings variables to the long video field

According to data from iiMedia Consulting, over 90% of the online audio users interviewed indicated that it is necessary to improve the content quality of the current audio platform columns. The interviewees believe that the current audio program content is mixed and difficult to form long-term appeal.

Therefore, the content will become the competition point for the long audio field to compete for a long time in the future.

Take the development of long video software as an example. Today’s long video industry has entered a mature period, and its development process can be summarized as free-member fee-content fee (single episode on-demand). Long audio is currently in the transition period from free to member fee.

The process from free to paid is the process of awakening copyright awareness. At this stage, in addition to cultivating users’ payment habits, the platform also faces the problem of rising copyright fees. Especially for some web articles that are relatively hot and have “self-contained traffic”, the copyright fee is naturally high.

However, copyright protection of literary works has always been difficult, and pirated literary works have been repeatedly prohibited. Therefore, there will be a second contradiction, that is, the imbalance of platform copyright revenue and user needs can be easily met, and the contradiction of unwillingness to pay additional fees.

The transition from membership fees to content fees is the differentiation of long audio software, which can reap users with one or several popular audio content.

Whether it is copyright contradiction or content differentiation, it ultimately points to a result, that is, long audio software must have its own content production platform.

Content production is the driving force that supports the sustainable development of long video platforms, and this theory is also suitable for long audio platforms.

Today’s long video field has a fixed pattern, with “Aiyou Teng” as the first echelon, followed by Mango TV and Station B. No matter which software, without exception, there are several self-made programs or self-made web dramas as the facade. In the same way, the reason why the market believes that Lazy Listening and Tomato Listening, which have just entered the game, will become strong competitors of Himalayas. It is because Lazy Listening and Tomato Listening are behind the two content production platforms of Reading Group and Tomato Novel . As support.

In fact, most of the “self-contained” content production platforms that entered the director’s audio track after the epidemic, including Cloud Listening, are backed by China Central Broadcasting and Television Station, and have a large number of high-quality program resources on CCTV.

In addition, the use of long audio software in the future must be closely integrated with specific scenes, and the use probability of casual scenes must be higher than that of learning scenes.

According to a survey conducted by iiMedia Consulting on the type of content that online audio users prefer to listen to, users who like to listen to entertainment content account for the highest proportion, at 42.3%. Consumers are more willing to listen to long audio as a way to relax. In-vehicle, leisure and sleep scenarios are one of the most suitable use scenarios. The future development direction of long audio software is likely to be embedded in smart cars and smart homes.

3. For the Himalayas to maintain their advantages, “bringing in” and “going out” are indispensable

In 1997, national leaders first put forward the guiding ideology of “bringing in” and “going out” in the new era of reform and opening up, and it is equally appropriate to apply this view to the direction of the Himalayas.

(1) “Bring in” the content and master the industry’s voice

The introduction of content includes two aspects. One is to continue to maintain cooperation with China Reading Group and other high-quality content production platforms to continuously obtain high-quality content; the other is to establish its own content market and cultivate its own ability to create explosive long audio programs. Establish a content moat.

IiMedia Consulting conducted a comparative analysis of the online word-of-mouth of China’s online audio mainstream platforms , and found that during the system monitoring period, the word-of-mouth was the highest for cloud listening, and the lowest was Himalaya. This also reflects from the side that although the content coverage of Himalaya today is wide, its quality is not high, which is not conducive to long-term development.

Himalaya is a good company, but paying for knowledge is not a good business?

Secondly, self-produced content is also conducive to creating explosive IP. The highlight of long audio is “listening”, and behind the “listening”, besides the content, there is another important point that is often overlooked: sound.

In a certain sense, the development of long audio will promote the production of a large number of high-quality dubbing KOLs. High-quality voice actors have a high degree of popularity and recognition, and there is a complementary relationship between voice actors and works. For Himalaya, forming a support plan for dubbing KOL as soon as possible is also a very important part of “bringing in.”

(2) Products “go global”, deep cooperation and integration into smart scenes

As mentioned earlier, the use of long audio will be deeply integrated with specific scenes, which means that Himalaya can go deep into specific scenes by cooperating with leading companies.

The car scene is the scene that the Himalayas must be integrated into. Smart cars are the future development trend, and as early as April this year, Litchi and Xiaopeng Motors launched an in-vehicle podcast, which is integrated into the Xiaopeng Motors ecosystem. For long audio software, the car scene is one of the scenes with the highest usage rate and one of the easiest scenes to acquire and retain customers.

Secondly, smart home is also an object that Himalaya can consider cooperation. Today , the smart home matrix of Haier , Midea and other companies has become more and more perfect, and product functional differences will become the next point of contention. Integrating into the smart home ecology, for Himalaya, it can not only reduce the pressure on its own research on smart products, but also give full play to its own advantages to achieve a “win-win”.

In the context of the giants entering the game successively and IPO failures, the pressure of competition in Himalayas has increased. The Himalayas, which has developed rapidly for nearly ten years, are now standing at the crossroads of destiny. Every next choice is about life and death. Can Himalayas support it?

 

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/himalaya-is-a-good-company-but-paying-for-knowledge-is-not-a-good-business/
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