Nearly every social media platform has turned its top users into stars: YouTubers, Viners, Dubsmashers, TikTokers, even LinkedIn influencers. Now, Clubhouse, A Audio-only app that made a name for itself with tech investors before expanding into entertainment, Trying to cultivate their own local celebrities.
The app is testing an invitation-only “Creator Pilot Program” with more than 40 clubhouse influencers representing a new class of online dame. So far, he has been promised to hold regular meetings with one of the founders of the club house and early access to specialized equipment designed for power users.
The clubhouse, which closed in May and has 600,000 registered users, allows people to join pop-up audio chat rooms. The app initially gained popularity from the Silicon Valley crowd. In May, the clubhouse was Which cost about 100 million dollars After a round of investment led by Andreessen Horowitz.
However, in recent months, its user base has grown wider. In addition to hosting discussions among venture capitalists, the app offers a variety of celebrity talk shows, DJ nights, networking events, speed dating, theatrical performances and political discussions.
Most of the users selected for the clubhouse’s pilot program host popular shows that attract thousands of viewers, although others maintain a smaller, more dedicated following. Think of them as part livestreamers, part podcast hosts and part community managers.
“Top creators are people with magnetic personalities who attract audiences not only because of their titles and achievements, but because listeners want to spend time listening to their ideas for the chance to weigh themselves,” Josh Constine, an early-stage investor firm Investor in Signalfire which is part of the producer pilot program. “These producers are generating large audiences on the clubhouse, even if they don’t have a large following on other social platforms.”
Katherine Connors, 50, an early parenting blogger and former head of content at Disney Interactive, hosts two regular talk shows on stage, one about feminism and one about philosophy, and the producer is on the pilot program. He said that many of the app’s most prominent figures are not Gen Xers and that millennials are what most people imagine when they think about the affected.
“How an interesting personality looks on the clubhouse is different from what it looks like on other platforms,” Ms Connors said. Many in the pilot program are in their 40s or 50s.
Last week, users at the producer program were invited to join a private digital “club” called “Everything in Modern”, as well as a closed WhatsApp group chat with leadership at the company. The program is being led by Stephanie Simon, a marketer and former mentor of Gucci.
One of his challenges will help standardize monetization on the app; Until now, the creators have not been compensated for their work on the app. “Where is the money?” One person asked during the first “Creators roundtable session”, a private meeting between the company leadership and the affected that took place on 17 December. It was a feeling that was shared by many in the room. Tickets, tips and subscriptions were called as potential sources of revenue.
Metrics were also discussed. The company said it would offer analytics to creators at some point, but did not know what they should see. A suggestion about a 30 percent weekly audience growth rate was deemed by some to be a requirement to remain on the program; Others saw it as encouragement. According to the company, there is no development mandate for the creators.
42-year-old Kat Cole, a business executive, investor and host of a popular clubhouse called Office Hours, said the meeting was well-intentioned but chaotic. “It was not a group of employees, so there was no agenda or open mic rule,” she said. “There were many people for whom this is his career and income as a producer, and they were taking it very seriously.”
“We believe that voice is a powerful means of connecting, sharing, learning and growing people through authentic conversations. Anyone in the clubhouse can be a producer by starting a room and hosting a conversation,” one of the company The spokesman said in a statement.
There is more pressure for the clubhouse to crack the producer ecosystem. Failing to prioritize the needs of power users can be overcome. In 2015, about 20 of Vine’s top 50 creators left the app after a meeting the company refused Pay $ 1.2 million dollars to maintain them. The app closed a year later.
However, in 2020, investors feel that an ultimately influential economy has been adopted as a legitimate business. A recent early-stage capital firm, REMUS Appointed Josh Richards, an 18-year-old Tiktok starAs an enterprise partner. Investors on the app have started asking how creators demonetize their accounts only on other platforms such as Offan. A tech founder recently tweeted how a 9-year-old YouTube star who earned $ 30 million this year Should have earned more.
“I think there has been some change in the past year among investors, and it seems like everyone is talking about the manufacturer economy and investing in maker equipment,” said the founder of Li Jin, The factory, A VC firm investing in the affected economy.
She pointed to Tiktok as a platform that rejected widely held beliefs among investors that “consumer social” – forums such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – were a thing of the past. “Tektok said that by the creators to treat them as first class citizens and make them feel that they are served and cared for,” Ms Jin said. “I think investors made the serving creators realize that this was a good business strategy.”
The clubhouse will have to do more than pay its creators if it wants to keep them. Many users have publicly complained that the app has failed to roll out adequate security measures for users, particularly those with historically marginalized backgrounds.
Ryan Beitler, an entrepreneur and producer of the clubhouse, who is part of the pilot program, announced on Monday that he was holding his popular clubhouse trivia show.
“I cannot continue to do positive things in view of the lack of action by CH to oppose anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism (etc.).” Tweeted, Referring to the clubhouse as “CH”.
Another user, Michaela Hirsch, Responded, saying that the company Should: “Draw a line for hate speech. Actually ban / suspension on people for this. Find out if this is unacceptable. First recognize that some het groups have organized on the app (and now it is too late to stop it). “
“All forms of racism, hate speech and abuse are prohibited on Clubism and are a direct violation. Community Guidelines And terms of Service, “A company spokesperson said.” The company has trust and security procedures to investigate and address any violations of these rules, which may include suspension or removal from the app. “
50-year-old Dennis Hamilton, a creator who hosts two popular shows on the clubhouse and is also a member of the pilot program, said that while the founders have incorporated their feedback into product changes, she thinks that users also have stronger moderation Tools are required.
“I think there were 25 more railings,” he said before listing a few of them: “Improve moderation, increase the skill set of intermediaries to host harder conversations, tougher conversations conducted by more skilled communicators. get Hight.”
As the club house continues to scale, the number of audio creators is increasing. Their impact on the macroeconomic economy is just beginning. Some members of the pilot program have started considering brand deals and cross-platform promotions. Others have started creating producer collectives, such as those initiated by key users on TicketLock.
“I would be surprised if by next year there weren’t groups of creators who do their work, but maybe there is some way to come together for a weekly room,” Ms Cole said. “Something like this Propaganda House. “
Erin Griffith Contributed to reporting.