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Just curious! Anybody used Clubhouse around here yet?


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If you have, whatdya think?

 

I'm asking this question because Clubhouse is quickly becoming a very popular platform where I live(which brings the possibility of its potential to what I do as a musician & a working man).

 

For those of you who do not know, Clubhouse is a drop-in audio chat platform with rooms & clubs (a rather simple technology) which comes as an Android or iOS app.

 

It's kinda like a realtime podcast or radio show for anybody who wishes to start one.

 

More details: https://www.joinclubhouse.com/

 

There are hundreds and thousands of members on the platform with all kinds of niche & mainstream topics being discussed about from casual chats to interestingly informative topics.

 

I wouldn't say I've used the platform myself a lot (besides window snooping the ones created through the day) but I did recently do a short little coffee time event on Clubhouse titled "REWIRE: A "casual" look into my approach to the voice". It was fun to slightly step out of the vocal coach shoes and discuss vocal technique from the point of view of how I use it myself and in my music. Had a few people listening in and asking very interesting questions.

 

Time passes away too quickly on there though. So I definitely won't be making it a habit of using it too much (at least as a host). Anyways, I thought I'd give you my thoughts on this platform and how I've been approaching the wave of audience (geographically speaking, many my own followers & listeners) that seem to be appearing there.

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I’ve joined and nosed around a couple of times. Nothing more serious so far. As ever, I scratch my chin and think hmmm… how could musicians use this? And is it better than what else is available. It has some potential, at least!

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17 hours ago, VoiceEx said:

It is an interesting idea. Though it seems more like a "toy" or a pastime activity, than it is a viable promotion or engagement utility. If anything, its like a semi localized, low budget version of Discord, minus the advanced technology and minus the proper community integration utilities.

 

Overall, Its not... a bad idea. No harm it using this. But i`m afraid I personally wouldn't use it. Its a cool hangout, but most official websites already host their own chat rooms and forums (not to mention Podcasts). Like, if I wanted to talk to my fans, id rather invite them to something I am hosting myself, in a more safe environment for my fans. And yes, I did use the word "safe" because that app is not very sophisticated. Also their current business model also kinda rubbed me the wrong way. They are not providing enough information.

 

 

Though I agree with you that it is a simplified version of discord, I may have a different opinion about the low-budget part of it given that their recent C funding round valued the company at $4 billion. We tested the app out during one of our previous staff meetings and there was virtually no lag whatsoever.

 

As for the app not being sophisticated, I think that it is totally a business strategy. Discord terminology might be quite easy for us nerds but a layman would have a learning curve which is the worst for wanting people to sign up & use the platform especially in the early days.  In this case, you have very few controls to fiddle around with & a surprisingly smart algorithm to get you into a conversation as quickly as possible.

 

It is being used already for more than casual reasons. Here's some of the search results, those are actual members on clubhouse choosing to engage about such topics through that platform.

 

 

Screenshot_20210618-164659_Clubhouse.png

 

 

Screenshot_20210618-164718_Clubhouse.png

 

 

I think the pandemic has annoyed many people to despise consumption of information always through the screen and miss the feeling of a real conversation. This app seems to have grabbed the demand for it.

 

Both Spotify (https://www.spotify.com/us/greenroom/) & Twitter (https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/spaces) released their competitor version of the app this week owing to further clues on its potential and value.

 

Further more, Clubhouse has already announced a monetization model for Indian audiences because of the surge in its use. That could be a useful tool for artists to leverage (especially speakers and educators).

 

https://digiday.com/marketing/clubhouse-starts-monetization-but-startups-and-influencers-may-beat-them-to-it/

 

 

Then again, I always keep an open mind and a keen eye about these things because new platforms are eventually gonna take over with shifting interests and trends. The earlier you are able to capitalize on a potential opportunity on the platform, the more it serves you as the audiences gradually increase.

 

A lot of the Youtubers who make the most money on the platform and have the largest subscribers are those who got on the train very early on! Adam Neely when it comes to music is an example. Millions of people know about him now. But he's been grinding it out since 2012 to grace all that delicious music content our way.

 

Though I must say, Clubhouse is sh*t for music performances given the audio quality and auto-gain is set up just for clean conversations.

 

Interesting stuff tho.

 

 

 

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On 6/19/2021 at 11:13 PM, VoiceEx said:

I personally don`t jump on hype trains just because alot of people are using it.

 

Interesting viewpoint. I'm also interested to see how this conversation will age with time! & I don't mean it in any nefarious way! Honestly I'm as clueless as you as to whether the trend will remain or die down quickly.

 

All I know for now is that those who are using the platform (whether they think it's a hype train or not) to spark conversations such as those in the screenshots are reaping the benefit of it whether thru being educated, fascinated or the opportunity that a direct audio conversation brings about in terms of networking.

 

I recently checked out a room called "Voice Mastery" where some very insightful & useful concepts were being explored with respect to singing. Though the title itself, particularly because of the usage of the word mastery, is something I do not subscribe to given my outlook of the voice as a musician and a vocal coach, I found the session itself quite informative for the short while I stuck around. There were about 400 people who had tuned in live. Lots of questions asked etc. It was useful simply in the sense that it saved me the time on youtubing some of these things which is usually how I quench my curiosity with what's out there! lol

 

Honestly if there is something good that can be extracted using a platform for my own benefit, I'd be carefully  prompt in testing waters of it to find out what kind of people are using it. My mindset on this is admittedly self serving. I do not care whether the platform itself becomes the next big thing or not. But I like to use things while at the same time engage conversations like this merely to constantly extract usefulness thru whatever is available online to me.

 

 

On 6/19/2021 at 11:13 PM, VoiceEx said:

My biggest issues are security related

 

Ditto! I completely resonate with that. Especially when the governments here continue to introduce and pass stricter, fundamentally invasive laws to monitor people. The Internet Freedom Foundation here raised the issue as well in terms of the new trend of these drop-in audio apps and how they handle encryption, storage, privacy policy for the stored data etc. And I'm interested to see how things will be addressed by all parties who've stake in it.  I will continue to be cautiously curious as generally is my way lol But I would admit that I'm still floating around like a ghost choosing not to directly use the app lol

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5 hours ago, VoiceEx said:

Awww. But you said such nice things about this app, making a thread for it and everything 😂 👍

 

 

I sure did! :) and here we are having a wonderful conversation about it on the forums I run with the team ;) lmao!

 

 

Honestly I don't take it back either. I do see the potential of it although the security concerns are something I'm closely watching and reading about with as much enthusiasm. Like I said, curiously cautious (cautiously curious?). I plan to do another session sometime for my vocal lessons. But hey let's see! :D

 

 

 

5 hours ago, VoiceEx said:

But I think that if fans are looking for you in specific, they would rather go to official site and Podcasts of yours.

 

I guess we'd have to agree to disagree on that bud. But I see where your opinion comes from given that you're someone who doesn't use social media as much (or at least presumably some of the platforms based on what you've said). Social media marketing wouldn't exist as one of the core aspects of how brands, labels and artists function within the industry if that was the case.

 

Based on my experience, fans LOVE to follow their artists on social media platforms to find out more about their days behind the scenes. And it allows the artist as well to build a stronger connection without much of work than to just share whatever* they want to. Plus it allows you to keep your audiences hooked through the fundamental cornerstones of music marketing : discovery (them finding out about you), interest (them sticking around cuz now they are interested & curious to know more), sales (yay! They want to buy your music and crowdfund your album) and advocacy  (double yay! They are letting other people know about it!) in that order of the consumer journey.



 

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4 hours ago, VoiceEx said:

 

You know what I mean 😜

 

 

It does have potential, yes. Though I personally wouldn't come near it it. Not until security matters are resolved, at the very least. Never been a fan of "early access" projects.

 

 

I simply have no real use for the majority of social media platforms. Neither as a working composer, nor as an individual. Though you are correct is saying that these platforms are useful tools. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, etc etc, all can serve a purpose for an artist. Though thankfully, since I am not in charge of promotion and marketing, so I do not need too use them myself, and therefore, can afford to use more secure platforms for business interactions, or everyday interactions.

 

 

Engagement with the audience is important, and these are popular trends which do produce great results. So to that end, I agree with you 100%. Establishing a seemingly deeper connection, allowing the consumer to partake on this journey of discovery, is vital for promotion. I`m glad you know how basic marketing works.

 

That being said, the only real "objection" I have, is that I am against the idea of showing the audience too much about whats going on behind the scenes. Seeming relate-able, doing what everyone else does, is trendy these days and its useful. But its not without its shortcomings. Perhaps i`m saying this because i`m mainly a composer (not a performance artist), but I think that "becoming" more "human" than "product", will overtime chip away at the "magic" of making music. Obviously as artists ourselves we are aware of what`s going on behind the scene, and we appreciate good music, regardless of context. But I think its a bit different for fans. Fans want entertainment. A vivid experience, to be presented with a good show led by an object of adoration which inspires them. Which is why I think that the more you share of your personal life, the further you step away from that.

 

Obviously this is just my opinion.  In fact, so far @john is the only person I ever met which shared similar beliefs 😅 Though I think that at the end, there is no real "right" or "wrong" answer. Times change, people change, technology advances. Who knows what the future really has in stored for us, in terms of entertainment mediums.


I share the same general concern that artists collectively will reveal too much of what happens behind the scenes, blowing any sense of mystery, in an ill informed pursuit of engagement with no real filter (really folks, you use an audio editor… editors exist for a damn good reason. Add to that, you wouldn’t dream of going out to public jams or open mics until you at least understood the basics). It is not dishonest to show your best side via whatever medium. After all, 99% of us will self-edit to a degree. I certainly haven’t seen any livestreams coming from a toilet (yet!), because on some level artists understand that going to the toilet is fundamental to being a human, but it barely registers for artists promoting their music. Funny that! And yet I see it all the time, artists presenting a warts ‘n’ all view in the name of authenticity. It’s just like dating. It takes time for most people to see us for who we are, because we hold back some of it, for many good reasons. Do we need to see all the various stages of preparation someone goes through before going out with them in order to appreciate how good they look or that they went to some effort? Would it ruin the surprise? Absolutely. Undermine the anticipation? Probably. Ruin the impact? Definitely.

 

Like video, podcasts, livestream, the issue is not technology. It’s how people use it. A little ignorance goes a long way.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is…. Music is an entertainment industry. It requires some mystery to preserve it’s magic. Think of it this way…. You get to go see a world class magician. Sure, you know it’s not real magic, they are tricking you, but we enjoy not knowing how they did it. Would you prefer knowing how they do every single trick before going, or going along and enjoy not knowing? It’s also fairly obvious, but it’s easy to see the negative effect on all magicians if you start revealing tricks because many tricks share common elements and many many tricks will be ruined. I think it’s obvious when you think of it like that.

 

If artists would only learn what to share, how and when to share it, they and the industry would benefit greatly. As it is, clubhouse offers a lot… but only if people know how to use it.

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