It has been an incredible year in the clubhouse, and most of us would rather forget this year. The real-time audio application was launched during the pandemic; the invited only, iOS-only application gained more than 10 million downloads; and it succeeded in making most social platforms want to copy it. Congratulations!
However, the company now faces the biggest challenge. On the one hand, the epidemic is waning, and people may be more interested in social activities in real life rather than conversations over the phone. Anyone who makes their backyard a contender for the next club makes sense.But for those do Eventually they want to talk to each other online, and they will soon have more places to do so. In case you haven̵
The biggest concern for Clubhouse is that, as I assumed in February, social audio may follow the same trajectory as Snapchat’s Stories feature: an excellent social media change idea that has always existed in every app, This hurts the upstart who first created the application. format. Social audio is moving in this direction. As the threats increase, it is worth studying where Clubhouse is most likely to encounter problems.
But first: what is the clubhouse going to do? This is the first tool to use social audio, and that’s it. Millions of users have come to Clubhouse, and these users only come for social audio content, including attractive titles such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg ( Mark Zuckerberg), Bill Gates (Bill Gates) and other celebrities. The CEOs of technology companies even made announcements in the clubhouse, including Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, who announced his company’s imitation products in the app. The application generates news and discussions-for other companies, it is much more complicated to clone them.
People have also formed a habit around Clubhouse, which is a positive sign to retain users. The team also plans to launch a creator program in the near future, which will provide its most loyal users with revenue and resources to enrich their programs.
Crucially, the app has been staffed in the past month. The company recently poached Fadia Kader from Instagram to lead its media partners and creators. On Instagram, she works with musicians to help them optimize their work on the platform. Presumably, she will do similar things in Clubhouse. I have seen her in Justin Bieber’s room talking about his latest album. Clubhouse also hired Maya Watson from Netflix as its head of global marketing, which means it will soon use resources to promote Clubhouse instead of relying mainly on word of mouth. These are all important steps to make Clubhouse interesting and prosperous.
However, the application is now facing competition from some of the largest platforms in the world, which have years of audit experience, can be used on iOS and Android, and have a large loyal user base to which they can push social audio. Some companies like Twitter and Discord have used the same interface as Clubhouse to bring social audio features to their millions of users in real time. Now, anyone who has not invited Clubhouse or iPhone can access the magic of social audio, regardless of Clubhouse.
However, for Clubhouse, the most dangerous possibility is that it can easily lose the big names on its platform to challengers. Spotify announced this week that it has acquired Betty Labs, the maker of the sports-centric social audio app locker room. The company plans to introduce the app to Android, change its name, and expand its coverage to music, culture, and sports. . It can directly compete with Clubhouse for talents. For example, Joe Rogan recently joined the Clubhouse chat room. Although the head of Spotify’s R&D told me that the company will not restrict podcasting to other social audio applications, it’s not hard to imagine that the company encourages the use of its own social media. Audio application. Musicians like Bieber may have come to Clubhouse to make their music debut, but they may turn to Spotify’s app to maintain their relationship with the streaming giant. For reference, when Kylie Jenner tweeted that she almost never opened Snapchat again, the company lost $1.3 billion in stock. If a star like Tiffany Haddish decides to spend time elsewhere, Clubhouse will also falter.
At the same time, some of these competitors are particularly interested in building native recording in their apps, which may boost the podcast ecosystem and on-demand listening. The clubhouse has not yet done this. Fireside, co-founded by Mark Cuban, allows people to input sound effects (such as music) and record their programs for distribution on the podcast platform and later on the app itself. Spotify may do the same for its apps and rely on its Anchor software to handle hosting and distribution. The head of consumer products at Twitter told edge It can also allow people to record their own space natively. Clubhouse has not yet built the feature, limiting its users to only real-time conversations, which may be difficult to follow if they join the conversation halfway through. Contextual collapse will challenge all platforms that focus on live broadcasting, but some of Clubhouse’s competitors are already working hard to solve this problem.
Stories made Snapchat a success. It pioneered the concept of ephemeral content and brought back certain appearances of authenticity to social media. But soon after, the function was accepted by the competitors that Clubhouse faced. In order to make its business run normally, Snapchat doubled the use of its Android application, redesigned it to make the application more suitable for new users, and actively sought content partnerships with media and entertainment companies. Now, it pays users to produce content for its TikTok competitor Spotlight and supports the growing advertising business, but Instagram finally won the crown of Stories. Clubhouse has not pursued ads or subscriptions, but this will be the next step in making it an independent platform. (However, it’s worth noting that its competitors, such as Facebook, have already identified advertising targeting, which may make Clubhouse’s advertising sales or access to the platform itself more difficult.
This is not to say that Clubhouse will not be able to survive or build a strong business in the coming months and years. It just needs to stay in the conversation.