social media

The social audio space is bigger than just Clubhouse

While the app has gotten millions of downloads since becoming available on Android in May, iOS interest is falling as competitors ramp up.
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· 5 min read

On Monday, we wrote about Clubhouse exiting beta—and what that means for the app’s potential as a marketing platform. But as it officially opens up to the masses, it faces a slew of competitors ranging from Twitter Spaces to Spotify Greenroom.

Question: So then what should marketers know about the social audio space?

Answer: The marketers we spoke with agree it's too early for brands to double down on any single social audio app or feature, as it’s unclear which one—if any—will come out on top. But they said the success of each will hinge on its ability to attract and retain creators.

Who wins the social audio race?

“The short answer is the listeners go where the content and the talent goes. Spotify’s Greenroom, Facebook, Twitter Spaces, and Clubhouse will be competing for contracts with creators,” Aubrey Strobel, head of communications at Lolli, told Marketing Brew.

Twitter Spaces might be the most buzzed-about Clubhouse remix, but a handful of other platforms that pressed copy and paste are also in the running to become the Uber of the Amazon of the Facebook of social audio’s top dog.

Spotify Greenroom: Spotify introduced Greenroom in June to stake its claim in the live audio market; it’s since hit 107,000 global installs, per data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. “If Clubhouse wants to stay at the top of its game, it may have to compete with Spotify’s Greenroom to sign major deals with creators and podcasters. We’ve seen this play out (not well) with Triller in competition with TikTok. The power is in the hands of the creators and whoever has the largest checkbook,” Strobel said. For what it’s worth, Greenroom rolled out a TikTok-like “creator fund” to help creators monetize their live audio content.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn announced in Marchthat it was working on getting its Clubhouse competitor ready for beta testing, and it also recently debuted a “creator mode” that lets users act more like influencers on the platform. “I could see LinkedIn eventually being really competitive with Clubhouse because so many LinkedIn users were power social audio users, and I still see a lot of LinkedIn content creators heavily using Clubhouse,” marketing consultant Chantelle Marcelle told us.

Facebook Live Audio Rooms: For Facebook’s part, the social behemoth announced Live Audio Rooms in June—it’s essentially Clubhouse within the Facebook app. And we bet you can guess who it partnered with for the debut: “public figures,” of course.

Clubhouse was more hare than tortoise

Clubhouse is not where many marketers are placing their bets—mostly because Spotify, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook all have other multifunctional apps users already spend time on for reasons other than social audio. While Clubhouse has gotten millions of downloads since becoming available on Android in May, interest among iOS users is falling. Sensor Tower said 881,000 people downloaded Clubhouse from the App Store last month, a steep decrease from its peak of 9.6 million in February.

  • “I think it's gonna vary per audience without a clearly defined market leader…Clubhouse loses though, because it's a standalone app whereas the others are incorporated in existing tools so the stickiness is there. I can't see a standalone audio app cutting through the noise,” Allyssa Eclarin, director of product marketing at, told us.
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  • Marcelle thinks it’s too early to call. “I think we still haven’t seen every player who wants to be in the social audio space emerge yet. Twitter came out pretty strong, but apparently Facebook and LinkedIn are not far behind. The platforms that’ll be most successful are the ones that attract top voices who bring the biggest audiences, similar to how Facebook works with big names to make video content. Or Spotify securing some of the biggest podcasters,” Marcelle added.

Strobel thinks each of these platforms call for different content. “For example, Twitter Spaces may not be the audio platform for weekly shows but rather a place where breaking news and subject matter discourse are covered.”

Overall, Marcelle sees the social audio space as more of a candy store than an obstacle course. “With so many channels rumored to be making social audio available, there are plenty of options. Marketers can enjoy that flexibility to experiment and find the most successful platform for their brand,” she said.

Marcelle and Strobel both listed influencers as some of the most exciting candies on the shelf. Strobel thinks micro-influencers in particular could be marketers’ secret weapon for navigating this space. “Ad spots on Spotify’s Greenroom or Clubhouse will begin to operate like paid ads on podcasts. Striking deals with micro-influencers who are having subject-matter conversations will become a new strategy and a great way to pinpoint new audiences. It’s almost one step removed from focus groups,” she said.

“Partnering with a variety of influencers will likely be key, which is just a major social media marketing trend in general right now,” Marcelle added.

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