Launched in April 2020 and younger than the pandemic itself, Clubhouse is 2021’s breakout app du jour. The wildfire-like proliferation of the digital audio conference platform has attracted investors like Andreessen Horowitz, some 10 million users, a $1 billion valuation and titans of our industry and beyond. This includes Live Nation’s Michael Rapino, managers Guy Oseary and Scooter Braun, artists ranging from Kanye West to Deadmau5, business icon Bill Gates, intellectuals like Malcolm Gladwell and even Promoter 101’s beloved Dan Steinberg – all of whom one could be in direct contact with.
“No matter what small town you live in, no matter what networks you have access to, no matter what your background is, you can open up the phone, and you can be in a room like this with a US Senator,” Davison said on a May 5 Clubhouse session with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, who was there promoting her book “Every Day Is A Gift.” “That’s incredible to me. And you can be heard. You can share your opinions. You can be there where the conversations are happening. That’s why we’re building it. I think that the best communication technologies that have ever been built, they have that property. They allow us to do things, we’ve always enjoyed doing, which, in this case, is sitting in a small group and gathering with other humans and talking and sharing knowledge.”
But it’s not just knowledge. In March and April, 28-year-old singer-songwriter Axel Mansoor, straight out of Mauritius of all places, was temporarily the app’s icon. Even before his app icon fame, Mansoor worked Clubhouse hard, which helped bolster his digital footprint elsewhere including Spotify where his listenership grew 109%, streams grew by 129% and his Instagram reach expand by 8,425%.
This writer, too, has had random mind-blowing experiences including a one-on-one chat with a member of the Go-Go’s and hearing Dave Chappelle discuss Prince’s 3121 parties in Los Angeles (which, for the record, included Prince cooking pancakes).
Davison, who co-founded the app with Rohan Seth, noted in his introduction to Senator Duckworth how easily the audio app integrates our busy daily lives. “The thing that’s interesting is audio creates all of this found time, right? I have three young kids. if you’re a parent, you’re working, you’ve got other stuff going on like we all do, the idea that you can multitask, and do this while you’re doing other things – we’ve tried to design it so that it’s a more of a human experience. It’s not about Tube-scrolling, or posturing or messaging people, it’s about genuine human connection and that you can close the app at the end of your session feeling better than you did when you came on.”