We’ve all seen the headlines heralding clubhouse as the next social platform to rival the likes of Facebook. We’ve heard that it is bringing about a cultural shift in social media we have yet to see. So, what’s all the hype about? Is it really worth spending the time to figure out how to add this social platform into your social strategy? I am sure you’re still either experimenting with TikTok or in the early days of your roll out strategy, so is it worth it to divert some attention to clubhouse? I spent 4 hours last Sunday on Clubhouse to better understand the platform and see how it could be applicable to higher ed, and youth marketing more generally. If you want to know more about what the platform is, and how it works, you can check out this Washington Post article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/02/10/what-is-clubhouse-faq/
Here’s the TL;DR version: Clubhouse is not yet worth your time or attention for advertising to prospective students. Here’s 5 things you need to know about the new platform:
1. Older-ish Demographic
Clubhouse appears to be catering to an older-ish demographic. Its difficult to get user demographic data on such a new app, but it appears to be attracting millennials and older, and not too many gen z’s…yet. Youth, much like every demographic, go where the good content and the good content creators go. Clubhouse has begun to attract big names for the Gen Z demo like Drake, Joe Rogan, 21 Savage, Elon Musk, etc. So its likely that as more influencers like these migrate to the platform, their Gen Z fans will follow.
2. Market Share Thiefs
Clubhouse will likely steal market share from other educational/entertainment/conversation platforms. Clubhouse is audio only and used mostly for education, entertainment, and conversation. Therefore, it will likely steal market share from other platforms used for those same purposes; namely podcasts (Apple podcasts and Spotify), music, Youtube, audio books and, most interestingly, conversations. Clubhouse is really exciting because it seems to be becoming what coffee shops in Paris and Vienna were in the 1920’s. Hotbeds of intellectual conversation and a place for ideas and minds to interplay. Therefore, Clubhouse will likely steal time from Twitter, coffee shops, phone calls, bars, etc. It reminded me of what I loved, and dearly miss, from University classrooms. People have already begun recording podcasts on clubhouse, then putting them on various podcast platforms.
Clubhouse can be a great place to engage with other marketers or higher ed. minds to discuss industry trends and marketing ideas. There are a multitude of rooms already existing with brilliant thinkers on the vanguard of marketing, advertising, and the future of higher education. This is likely the most useful part of this platform today for higher ed. Marketers – an opportunity for professional development and to gather some brilliant ideas.
4. Still Young
Clubhouse is still in its infancy but will grow very quickly. It grew from 3.5 million global downloads to 8.1 million from 1 February - 16 February 2021. It initially received a valuation of $100M with a series A investment from Andreessen-Horrowitz in May 2020, and is rumoured to be valued at $1B now with over 180 interested investors.
5. Gen Z Adoption
Youth will go where their favorite content creators go. Right now, it has attracted Drake, Joe Rogan, 21 Savage, Elon Musk, etc. that are very popular amongst Gen Z. Therefore, it is only a matter of time until Gen Z begins to follow.
So, in conclusion, Clubhouse is a great resource to speak with other minds in higher ed. and marketing, but not yet a great place to engage with youth. As more content creators that are popular with Gen Z begin to appear on the platform, it will become more and more relevant to Gen Z, and then it will certainly be worth determining how to fit it into a marketing strategy.