Arré launches Project Voice, a women-first audio app for citizen creators

Digital content brand, Arré has announced Project Voice a women-first audio app aimed at building a new generation of creators. The app (beta version) is currently live on the Play Store and open on an invitation basis to women and anyone who identifies as a woman. Launched in Hindi, Tamil and English, the app will soon offer other Indian and global language options to create audio content.

Project Voice is already home to poetry, music, self-help, language lessons and more. Creators on the app can explore the a 30-second ‘Voicepod’ format of content creation, either raw or edited with filters, background music and other studio tools, to express themselves. The app offers creation possibilities in offline, live and live-group modes, where women can meet in private or public spaces to talk or listen in.

The product has been designed to make the creator process intuitive and fun. Led by Vimal Kumar, who was previously leading teams at Tik Tok, Hotstar and Resso, the product design also features an in-built studio programmed and choreographed by musician Ankur Tewari (‘Gully Boy’, ‘Gehraiyaan’), Ayesha Sood (Arré’s ‘Trial by Error’ podcast creator and award-winning film director) and Jam 8 (audio studio by Pritam), in close association with the engineering and design talent handpicked from across global and Indian media, tech and commerce companies.

The app will launch on iOS in the next few weeks and over the next six months will be adding several new features like shopping and transaction tools. It will also include features like campaign management and discovery tools for brands, with voice commands for a better hands-free experience.

B. Saikumar, Founder, Arré said, “Project Arré Voice has been our stealth mode obsession for the last 24 months borne out of many lockdown ruminations. And this is now the blueprint for Arré – to straddle the spectrum of professional content creators via our studio and media business and ‘citizen creators’ through our media-tech venture, Project Voice. The world of entertainment and commerce will look very different once the lines between citizen creators and professional creators are re-drawn and that’s the vision that is consuming us.” 

The app is currently inviting women only, with the idea of using their support in building and moderating community guidelines to create a safe space for women. However as machine learning and AI tools become adept at robust moderation, the app’s creators will consider opening up to all genders and pronouns, with equal rights and privileges of consumption and creation, principled on equality but uncompromised on the vision of creating a safer world for true expression.

Niyati Merchant, Co-Founder and COO, Arré said, “Women are now defining the social, cultural and economic narrative of the world and our product is sitting at a vantage to tap into this and give it wings. Project Voice exists to bring to the fore many such voices unleashing the potential of the ‘her’ economy even while focussing on providing safety along with an ability to ‘create unguarded’. The challenges for women in the offline world are only multiplied and hardened in the online world – issues around safety, trolling, stereotyping, etc. continue to abound and grow and it is our endeavour to create a new world, the constitution of which is written by a community of women. Once the guidelines are in place, we shall open the gates to all others. A new, better world is going to be a constant endeavour of Project Voice.’

Maneesha Singh, Senior Vice President & Vimal Kumar, Product Head, Project Arré Voice said, “This wasn’t a tough choice at all since we look at audio as not only the most authentic but also the most human and simple way to express and consume. We have also attempted to make the entire creation process much simpler compared to any other format or medium, thereby democratising the opportunity and the playing field which will not only include our time on social media but also our hands-free time while driving, walking or doing daily chores. With audio, we hope to go deep and wide into the world of existing and potential creators with a view that anyone can be a creator and once a creator, anyone can become an enterprise.”

The exponentially growing digital advertising market is pegged to reach $12.6 billion by 2027, while social and community commerce is a huge opportunity too. The global social commerce market is expected to reach $2.0 trillion by 2027. Closer home India, which is at a nascent stage of social commerce acceptance currently, is likely to be a $16-20 billion market by 2025.

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