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Audio’s Comeback: Old Media becomes New Social Media

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When phones were just audio phones, we desired video as well. Now that phones are our lifeblood, it seems like the desire for simpler times and nostalgia are growing. With the pandemic creating a “Zoom” overload and wacky wardrobe choices, audio only social media had an opening. Clubhouse (or CH for the cool kids) is one such audio only social network. With Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg already having given talks on the platform, Clubhouse with less than 10 million users, only available on iPhone, invite only, has already garnered a billion dollar valuation. Twitter is also entering the space with their aptly named Spaces product, which is still in beta. SoapBox is another iPhone only application which users say represents more casual conversation, as opposed to Clubhouse which are more panel like discussions.

What led us here and is audio a fad that is here to stay?

The pandemic led us here but it seems that passive always on social media was inevitable. Whereby, video based chats like Famecast, Zoom, and FaceTime force us to always be present (well we can zone out, or type but either our face or keyboard gives us away). Asynchronous social media that is text or video based forces you to look at your screen. Having an ambient sound social media format that we can choose to listen to but also tune out when we need to fill in the voids when we were unable to look at our phone screens. (And we look at them a lot!) Every other social media app required us to watch a video, read some text, look at pictures. But now drop in audio applications let us zone in and out. It’s a never ending stream of Eventbrite panels all made available from the comfort of your own phone. Kelly Hadous, CEO of Win the Room, summarizes, “Clubhouse is designed like other social media where you can build relationships and connections, except it’s through the power of your voice. You don’t need to worry about being zoom presentable from the waist up to make an impression.”

What does it mean?

Well, for those of us who have a face for radio, Clubhouse moderating and panels are another way to get your message out there. Similar to Podcasts but allowing for interactivity with guests. Howard Stern, Casey Kasem, and a slew of other famous DJs and talk artists made their names with audio only. It’s another channel to be creative on, which also provides some creativity on the side of the listener (few will remember Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds).

Some early best practices?

Got some tips for us? New thoughts on drop in audio? Drop us an email!