How Will Clubhouse Face the Competition?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on whatsapp
Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images

by Dan Runcie

Every week, Trapital's free memo will give you insights on the latest moves in music, media, and culture. Join 32K+ readers who stay ahead of all the trends:

On Saturday, Clubhouse was buzzing because of an ongoing financial dispute between entertainment marketer Karen Civil, rapper Joyner Lucas, comedian Jessie Wo, and countless others.

I’m not gonna break down the “he said,” “she said,” you can read the details here. But I will break down some interesting things I noticed.

Clubhouse’s big weekend. On Saturday, the main room with Karen and Joyner was maxed out at 8,000 capacity. There were several spillover rooms, livestreams on YouTube, and play-by-play commentary on other platforms. It had to be the biggest day on Clubhouse since Elon Musk’s interview in February.

But Elon Musk is one of the richest and most famous people in the world. Meanwhile, Karen Civil and Joyner Lucas are mostly known in entertainment and media circles. It’s a reminder of the power of Black culture, which was a key driver of content.

But those Clubhouse conversations could easily have taken place on Twitter Spaces. It could also be a future topic on the live audio platforms coming from Facebook or Amazon.

Clubhouse may have had a head start in drop-in audio, but its decline in usage and increasing competition are a challenge. The saving grace for Clubhouse is that many of its investors are influential cultural figures too. If those figures ever become the subject of drama, they can have the convo on the platform they invest in. But that’s a “stars aligned” scenario. Clubhouse may need more than that to recapture its pre-vaccine popularity.

In that Clubhouse room, folks were casually talking about things that frustrate many people about the music industry:

-artists illegally paying radio stations for radio play, (and wanting receipts for their payola)
-marketers hacking websites out of spite
-charging rappers $20,000 to meet Suge Knight
-music execs charging artists and doing no work at all
-artists paying someone $60,000 to “elevate their career”

These are all reminders of the nonsense that still goes on! But it’s also why I support so many hip-hop artists who have invested in better solutions. They lived through all this shit and want better for the next generation.

Certain people will always desire an easy way out. That will always be there. And unfortunately, grifters will always be there to take advantage. But no one wants to be told, “just keep pushing,” or good music will find the right people, but that’s the reality

For more on this Clubhouse room, read this article in Complex.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

Want more? Trapital's free Monday memo will keep you posted on the latest trends in the business of music, media, and culture:

Like this memo? Share it!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
"The stuff that Trapital puts out is fantastic. Really interesting insights into the industry, artists trends, and market trends."
Mike Weissman
Former CEO, SoundCloud
“You tell the true stories. Not just the end product, but how you get to the end product. Your point of view on it is dope.”
Steve Stoute
CEO, UnitedMasters and Translation