Clubhouse Adds Payment System to Social Audio
The monetization tool is built into the app and uses Stripe’s online payment system to transfer the money. Anyone can send money, although the user group who can accept the payment is starting small and will expand after further testing. Tapping on a user’s profile who has had payment activated, there will now be a “send money” button to tap and enter the amount you want to send. After attaching a credit or debit card the first time, the payer’s account is charged the amount they are sending to the profile, plus a card processing fee for Stripe. Clubhouse does not take a cut of the money.
“From the earliest days of Clubhouse, a guiding principle has been to build a platform that puts the creator first. Our aim is to help creators build community, audience, and impact. And as Clubhouse continues to scale, it’s important to us to align our business model with that of the creators—helping them make money and thrive on the platform,” Clubhouse explained in a blog post. “This will be the first of many features that allow creators and to get paid directly on Clubhouse. We are excited to see how people use it, and to continue working hard to help the amazing members of the Clubhouse community grow and thrive.”
The monetization is tied to ‘s ambitions for creators as the blog indicates. That fits as Clubhouse is currently judging applicants for its Creator First Accelerator. The 20 creators chosen for the Accelerator cohort will get financial and production support with a stipend, equipment, and promotional help. The payment tool gives those and other creators a shot at earning a living on Clubhouse through tips, a bit like Twitch and some other streaming platforms.
Clubhouse may also see monetization as a way to distinguish itself from the proliferating competition in social audio. Though Clubhouse has more than 10 million users and is seen as a kind of standard-bearer for social audio, startups and existing companies have been eager to grab a piece of the market. New startups like Quilt and Swell are picking up investments and users of their own. Twitter Spaces, Telegram’s Voice Chats, and LinkedIn’s experiments in social audio have all gained traction. Spotify is particularly keen on the creator element and acquired Betty Labs, the startup behind sports-focused social audio app Locker Room to build up that idea. Discord has just launched a new social audio feature called Stage Channels, which are explicitly about people showing off their creations.