As the digital age continues, I’m still surprised that new social platforms and applications are entering the market. Yet, innovative minds are constantly coming up with new ways to make our lives more convenient and more entertaining.
Enter Clubhouse, the latest addition to the world of social networking. Clubhouse is an invitation-only, audio-first social app, which can be seen as a hybrid of conference calls, talkback radio, and Houseparty. The app is one of the most popular around and discussed almost everywhere you turn.
The application is based on audio-chat, whereby users can listen in on conversations, discussions, and interviews between people on various topics of interest. The difference between Clubhouse and a straight-up podcast is that these discussions are live and, due to its invitation-only format, adds an extra layer of exclusivity.
Users are invited to join the Clubhouse by an existing member, along the same vein as real-life country or yacht clubs, but just in a virtual sense. It has somewhat less of an elitist feel as there are no exorbitant costs to join. Once you have joined though, you can select a range of topics you find interesting, including books, technology, movies, health, business, and more.
The app’s conversation room, as it’s called, works like a conference call with some people talking and a majority listening in. Once the discussion is over, the room is then closed. This is quite different from the popular app Twitch, where videos stay on the platform for users who could not catch the live stream to access at any time.
The number of Clubhouse app installations since its launch is incredible, exceeding 3 million and continuing to grow at an alarming rate. Every day, the app is downloaded by thousands of people around the world. Just look at the screenshot below, which tells us that in 2021 alone, the app was downloaded more than 2 million times.
When comparing countries, I found that the app is particularly popular in non-US markets, with Germany leading the way at over 250,000 downloads, followed closely by Japan at 200,000-plus downloads. The rest of the top five countries consist of the UK, Turkey, and Canada.
Despite the impressive growth and popularity of Clubhouse, the app could be seen as a serious threat to traditional audio-only media channels, particularly radio and more recently, podcasts. To take a closer look at just how much of an impact this app can have on audio-only platforms, I’ve approached several experts to weigh in and give their opinion about Clubhouse.
I’ve asked only two questions:
- Will the Clubhouse APP kill podcasts and Radio?
- As a podcaster/leading (radio host), will you invest your time building your brand on Clubhouse?
First up is author, podcaster, marketing speaker, and entrepreneur Joe Pulizzi. According to Pulizzi, Clubhouse will not kill podcasts, but podcasters need to invest time in learning how to leverage the platform.
Author, podcaster, marketing speaker, and entrepreneur.
Answer: I have the same feeling about Clubhouse that I had when Twitter was launched in 2007. The model is incredibly unique and addictive to users.
It may be worthwhile for a podcaster to invest time in gaining a following, to then move that following over to their podcast platform. So basically, use it in the same way you use Twitter, although conversion may be higher in the case of Clubhouse.
Because of this, I’ve decided to launch my entire book tour on Clubhouse for my book Content Inc, leading up to the launch in May.
Ron Edmondson, leadership consultant, coach, podcaster, and author, shares this sentiment, stating that it will serve as a supplement, with many podcasts and radio shows taking their shows onto Clubhouse.
Leadership consultant, coach, podcaster, author of “The Mythical Leader”.
- Will the Clubhouse APP kill podcasts and Radio? No, it will serve as a supplement and I think you’ll see podcasts and radio shows taking their shows onto Clubhouse, but it won’t be a total replacement.
- As a podcaster, will you invest your time building your brand on Clubhouse? I’m planning to ‘test the waters’ soon with Clubhouse. I can’t immediately jump into it, because I have more followers already on other platforms. But I do see huge potential. I did a radio show for 17 years and I think I may relaunch it on Clubhouse.
Game developer, podcaster, and YouTuber, Alanah Pearce, sees Clubhouse as more of an audio social network than a competitor to podcasts or radio.
Game developer, podcaster, YouTuber.
Answer: Here you go, Alex:
- I see Clubhouse as more of an audio social network than a competitor to podcasts or radio. It’s an inventive way to live-stream audio calls for sure, but unless it has the functionality I don’t know about (which would mean I don’t think it has been marketed for success in this area), it won’t replace offline podcast listening habits.
- I don’t personally have an interest in investing time in Clubhouse as someone who is already pretty anti-social. I’m happy to do my hourly chat with my three friends every week, but a broader, much more highly accessible live audio chat that can often feature people I don’t know? Hard pass.
NPR’s radio host Scott Simon is keen to try Clubhouse and invest time in the app as long as its profits match his current income.
NPR’s radio host, podcaster, author.
Answer: I’d love to try Clubhouse but I’d need some kind of assurance of monetization prospects within the App. As long as the Clubhouse profits will match my current income, I would invest my time into building a personal brand in the App.
- No, I don’t think the Clubhouse APP will kill podcasts and Radio.
- As a podcaster, I won’t invest my time building a personal brand on Clubhouse.
Podcaster, editor at Daily Beast.
- It’s possible that clubhouse will cut into podcasting but I think it’s more like talk radio than podcasts.
- I like Clubhouse, I’m not much for ‘branding’ but I have fun on the App.
Digital marketer, podcaster, author of “Cumulative Advantage.”
- Of course not. There is room for all of this in the world. The demographics are different.
- No. As a small business, I have to be very careful about where I spend my time. If I create content, it better be excellent, and it’s hard to be excellent in many places at the same time. The problem with Clubhouse (at least right now) is that the content can’t be stored and can’t be discovered and enjoyed later. I can’t justify creating content that can’t be discovered later. I like spending time there for personal enjoyment, but it will not be a big part of my portfolio for at least this year.
From these interviews, I also found that experts from different areas of business have created their Clubhouse rooms and are gathering a wider audience. Some of the most popular areas of interest, which should benefit businesses in these arenas, include Sports, Knowledge, Arts, Faith, Tech, Languages, World Affairs, Wellness, Identity, and Entertainment.
We also tried to participate in Clubhouse rooms with our topics and projects, but the response however was below the expected level. Among the rooms we joined were gambling pro, Gambling, etc. Together with colleagues we discussed our projects: casinocanada.com, cvasino.se, and casinoportugal.online.
All of this adds to the substantial growth potential of Clubhouse as a new social networking tool, with many believing this app to be the next big thing on the same level as industry giants like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
My Final Thoughts
It seems that there are still mixed feelings and opinions about the viability of Clubhouse as a marketing tool or whether it’s just another social app to enter an already saturated market. While the app is still new and thriving during these uncertain times, Mark Schaefer, digital marketer, podcaster, and author, believes there is room for all of this in the world. And I tend to agree.
What are your thoughts about Clubhouse? Let’s discuss this in the comments.