Clubhouse said it will not take a cut from any payments to creators on the platform, and more monetisation features are expected to follow.
As Clubhouse continues to scale, it wants to align its business model with that of the creators, the company said in a recent blog post. To do this, it announced that as of Monday (5 April) all users on the invite-only platform can send payments to others, though the ability to receive payments will be rolled out gradually, starting with a small test group.
Clubhouse said creators will receive 100pc of these payments while the processing fee for the payments platform – Stripe – will be absorbed by the user sending the money. Clubhouse will take nothing from the transaction.
The company said that this is just the first of what will be “many features that allow creators to get paid directly on Clubhouse”.
As it begins rolling out its first monetisation feature, Clubhouse will collect feedback and fine-tune the service before rolling it out to all users.
To send payments to creators with the ability to receive them, users simply tap on the profile of that user and select ‘Send Money’. The amount can be determined by the payee and the transaction is powered by Stripe. Clubhouse noted that users will have to register a credit or debit card on sending their first payment.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse was launched in early 2020 by founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth and was valued early on at $100m after securing funding from investors including Silicon Valley titans Andreessen Horowitz.
Its live audio-only chat rooms allow users to host conversations with guests that other users can drop in and out of. There is an intended ephemerality to the discussions as the audio is only available live and isn’t archived for playback.
Clubhouse has exploded in popularity in recent months, particularly in the tech industry, with investors, founders and journalists kicking off live audio discussions on politics, the future of media and health trends. Celebrities including Oprah and Jared Leto have taken to the app.
This rising popularity has also attracted fierce competition. Slack is set to roll out its own Clubhouse-like live audio features where colleagues can join discussions with each other. Elsewhere, Spotify acquired start-up Betty Labs, which is behind the Locker Room app, to fuel its own efforts to build a Clubhouse competitor.
Twitter was quick off the mark with its roll-out of Spaces – a new live audio feature that it began testing in December. Twitter is also experimenting with monetisation for its users, revealing in February its plans for new features including a way to charge for tweets.
Encrypted messaging app Telegram has its own audio-sharing features and last week Discord introduced its own live audio chat rooms.
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has its own audio networking feature in the works, while tech investor Mark Cuban is developing an audio app, Fireside. Facebook is also reportedly working on a Clubhouse rival.
Additional reporting by Jonathan Keane