What does Audio App Clubhouse Mean for the Podcast Industry and How do I get an Invite?
By Zach Kangelaris
Gaining high profile users such as Elon Musk and plenty of internet buzz, say hello to Clubhouse. This invite-only app has been described as “tuning in to a podcast, but live and with an added layer of exclusivity.” (The Guardian) But…. what does this mean for the podcasting world?
Why is there such a buzz about the app?
Clubhouse is currently invite-only. You can download it (iOS users only), but you need to be invited to join by an existing member. Nothing like a bit of exclusivity and elitism to make everyone want access.
Celebrities such as Drake, Kanye and Oprah are members and have also played a big part in generating hype and awareness.
What does this mean for podcasts?
All media is competing for our attention and time, but adding a new contender to the mix doesn't necessarily mean that users will use other platforms less. Clubhouse is essentially a different experience than podcasts, with an emphasis on conversation rather than listening.
Will the app affect the podcasting industry? Probably, but not necessarily in a bad way.
They can co-exist and maximise the attention of the audio medium which in turn suggests that rather than competing they could potentially enhance the experience of each other. Clubhouse can present opportunities for podcast integration and conversation. For instance, a host at the end of a podcast episode prompts users to join them on Clubhouse for a Q&A where they'll field queries in real time. This could take the user experience of podcasts to a whole new level.
As a podcaster or brand, should I build my profile on Clubhouse?
This depends on a number of factors. Will Clubhouse last? With extensions planned to open the platform for everyone to join, plus the huge android user market to capitalise on, it is likely that popularity will continue to climb. However, Twitter have announced the launch of Twitter Spaces which has a similar concept, a potential threat to Clubhouses’ future. Hours of time and effort could be poured into these platforms, only to see one of them not foster any return. The best strategy here would be to stay across the news and remain flexible, ready to pivot as the tide turns.
Both mediums offer strengths for various purposes. Podcasts offer quality, immersive entertainment that you can consume whenever you feel like. Clubhouse has a topical reactive quality. You can join a room and discuss a news story that has just broken. To use each platform to your strength, you need to answer the question: what job do you need audio to do?
The benefits to building your podcast’s presence on Clubhouse are still emerging. There is an opportunity to be a market leader in the space and break new ground. The obvious benefit of the conversational app is feedback and discussion, both essential to podcast growth and improvement. As your audience are audiophiles, they are likely to want to engage in an audio format, so chances are that it's a great place to connect with your people.
How do I get an invite?
As with any social platform you’re practically building on someone else's land so be sure to get in quick. To give it a try for yourself you can reach out to your network, buy an invite on eBay (last resort), or drop us an email - we have x4 to give out to the first people to get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org