Clubhouse is now letting some creators receive payments directly from fans. Best of all? They get to keep 100% of it.
The feature, known as Clubhouse Payments, will only be available to a small test group to start. Clubhouse, however, is planning a broader rollout as it collects feedback and fine-tunes the feature.
What it means: The wildly popular social audio app — which is available only on iOS — wants its creators to be free to directly monetize their clout. The decision is part of Clubhouse's broader focus on differentiating itself from a widening list of big tech firms building rival audio-conversation platforms.
How it works: To dish a creator coin, tap on the profile of a user who has the feature enabled and hit "Send Money". Determine your generosity, register a card, pay the processing fee, and voila.
Stripe wins, too: The fintech giant is Clubhouse’s payment processing partner, allowing it to take a small fee on each payment to creators.
Valuation soars: Clubhouse is reportedly courting investors with a valuation at $4 billion — quadruple its value from January. The company’s $100 million Series B in January, led by Andreessen Horowitz, valued the company at $1 billion. In December 2020, Clubhouse was valued at $100 million.
In other words, it took 4 months for Clubhouse’s valuation to grow 3,900 percent.
Fistfight for ears: Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is the latest major software company to announce their own Clubhouse rival. The feature appears to be part of LinkedIn's broader strategy to woo creators with tools like newsletters, Stories, and video broadcasting, LinkedIn is testing a social audio tool that enables professionals to connect with their community.
In December, Twitter began testing Spaces and hopes to publicly debut the feature in April. Facebook is also reportedly working on an audio platform after “executives have ordered employees to create a similar product” to Clubhouse, according to the New York Times. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield also confirmed — on Clubhouse no less — that the company plans to build an audio chatroom feature into the workplace communication platform.
Drop your email here. I'll keep you updated on the latest economic and policy trends affecting indie businesses.
Accelerating conversations: In March, Clubhouse announced its first accelerator program. Clubhouse Creator First accelerator’s goal is to support 20 Clubhouse creators with the resources to grow their audiences and grow revenue. Applications closed on March 31.
The bottom line: Despite Clubhouse's historic rise, its massive competitors have vastly more developers who can take them in an arms race for ears. Combine that with competitors' Andriod compatibility and well-established network effects and it's a tough road ahead for the 1-year-old company.
But don't count Clubhouse out.