How to Advertise on Clubhouse

Clubhouse is the latest social media app to take the world by storm.

The invite-only drop-in audio platform, backed by VC firm Andreesen Horowitz, now has more than 2 million people using it each week and is valued at over US$1 billion.

The platform received a huge push recently when Elon Musk tweeted that he would be hosting an event on Clubhouse — it seems everything he tweets turns to gold, even Dogecoin. It just so happened that he was joined by the embattled Robinhood CEO, Vlad Tenev, and Musk proceeded to grill Tenev about the GameStop saga for a full 15 minutes.

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At its core, Clubhouse offers people a loose collection of drop-in clubs and events, where you can not only listen to people discuss topics ranging from startups and technology through to philosophy and porn, but also contribute your own questions and thoughts. It’s kind of like a local Meetup event, but with several hundred to several thousand attendees dropping in from all over the world. Meetup meets podcasting in real-time, even?

Not only that, but the caliber of some of the participants might be far superior to what you’re used to at your local fireside chat. A cursory look through my own Clubhouse feed at the time of writing showed me that:

  • Influential entrepreneurs, Jason Fried and Kevin Rose, were hosting a conversation on startups and product
  • Bestselling authors and internet personalities, Brendan Burchard, Lewis Howes, and Shane Parrish were moderating an event on high performance
  • And hugely influential polymath, Eric Weinstein, was participating in an event on porn.

With the rapid growth of the platform (it had just 600,000 weekly users in December of 2020), and the caliber of names getting behind it - or at least experiment with the new platform, the obvious question for creators, brands, and contributors alike becomes ‘how do we monetize this?’.

Currently, Clubhouse does not offer any in-app advertising functionality, as the company doubles down on the growth and user experience of its platform. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t advertise on Clubhouse.

We can look to both podcasts and local meetups to determine how you might make money on Clubhouse.

Here are several monetization strategies worth exploring.

1. Branded Events and Clubs

You can simply brand events and clubs by adding something to the effect of ‘Presented by Company X’ in the title of an event and/or the description of a club. This is no different to many a local tech or startup meetup that might be presented by the likes of a ZenDesk or an Atlassian. Not only that, but larger more traditional organizations — think IBM, Microsoft, and financial services organizations — are also keen to align themselves with hip and up-and-coming segments.

2. Intermittent Host Sponsor Reads

As with podcasting where you might be familiar with midroll ads — ads that the podcast host reads out halfway through a podcast — you might have event moderators rattle off a short sponsor read or shout-out every 30 minutes or so, along with some kind of special offer for participants.

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Given the drop-in nature of Clubhouse, this makes a lot more sense than simply doing a sponsor read at the start of an event as many listeners are likely to join an event long after it has commenced.

3. Paid Guest Spots

Both brands and personalities might want to access the spotlight at high-quality events that draw a large crowd and place them alongside influential figures.

As such, you might be able to offer pay-to-play for speakers/moderators at your events. This gives them an opportunity to get in front of their audience, build their own Clubhouse following, and develop or further solidify their brand and association with a particular demographic.

We’re already seeing offshoots like Clubroll pop up, which purport to offer such advertising services, and we’re likely to see many others flock to this space as Clubhouse continues to grow.

These are just three ways you might monetize your club or event — can you think of any others? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Follow me on Clubhouse at @steveglaveski

Posted 
February 5, 2021
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