Clubhouse is an iPhone exclusive, invite-only social networking app where users gather in audio chat rooms to discuss various topics. Rooms are created and run by designated moderators who speak and unmute listeners at their discretion. Users can follow other followers or topics.
These rooms function as mini, hyper-focused podcasts that cover everything from Netflix series recaps, to venture capital investment advice, and many other countless industries and interests.
Clubhouse was originally targeted to industry elites, online influencers, celebrities, and CEO’s. The app now includes more users by allowing each user to invite up to friends of their own to the app, driving usership from 600K to over 2M weekly over the past three months.
Founders Paul Davison & Rohan Seth stated, “Our goal was to build a social experience that felt more human—where instead of posting, you could gather with other people and talk. Our north star was to create something where you could close the app at the end of the session feeling better than you did when you opened it, because you had deepened friendships, met new people, and learned.”
What’s the Fuss?
At any given time there are approximately 1M users and thousands of rooms active on Clubhouse. Due to the specificity and exclusivity of the chat room topics, average users are spending 11-22 hours a week on the platform and have expressed their “fear of missing out” as the driving purpose.
Notable Users: Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Meek Mill, Mark Cuban, and MC Hammer
Notable Rooms: Tech Talks, Digital Marketing Society, Startup Club, Women’s Powerhouse
What Does This Mean To Marketers?
Now that the app has become more accessible to social media users, it’s getting more buzz. We are even now beginning to see some brands “sponsor” Clubhouse rooms by having the moderator do a “live” commercial drop for the sponsoring brand in a room full of listeners. Genius!
Future of Clubhouse
Although Clubhouse doesn’t currently offer “direct” advertising on their platform, Marketers are still optimistic about the upward trend in usership and thought leadership efforts. Here are some pros and cons:
Thought Leadership! “Hot bed of influencers”
Help brands build awareness, trust, and community
Constantly rotating & evolving audio content
Based on growing usership; sizeable audio audience reach potential
Limited audiences due to invite-only usership model
Already experiencing audio-app competition [Facebook & Twitter]
Can feel like an “unedited podcast” if chat room/conversation is not moderated effectively
Brand Safety concerns: Brands could be vulnerable if the correct preventive measures aren’t taken.
As Clubhouse usership and notoriety continues to grow, we can expect to see brands and marketers get resourceful in their efforts to carve out an audience in this new audio-social networking landscape.
It will be interesting to see how things progress, and whether brands feel the need to “join the clubhouse.”