Is Clubhouse The Future Of Podcasting?

Social audio — Clubhouse — is rippling waves of disruption throughout podcasting, polarizing us into camps of lovers, haters, and those who can’t get in. Nervously, we’re starting to ask some questions.

Clubhouse For Podcasting Dummies

To me, Clubhouse is the ’21 version of the party line. Only we’re not holding a phone to our ears, and the phone isn’t attached to the wall by a twisty 3.5' cord. Instead of calling a number, the iOS-only app allows us to see several real-time conversations-rooms-happening right now. If one looks interesting, we click to join and are immediately dropped into the conversation.

Podcasters Ask The Darndest Things About Clubhouse

Before I get to the questions, I need to thank my friend and fellow podcasting consultant Jonathan Baillie Strong for inviting me to the platform. He’s so enamored with the idea of social audio that he’s starting a newsletter to cover the space. The first episode hasn’t yet gone live as of this recording, so sign up at SocialAudioInsider.com to stay current on this fast-moving space. Because it’s much, much bigger than just Clubhouse.

1. Is Clubhouse the future of podcasting?

In a word, no. In nine words, Clubhouse-or something like it-is in podcasting’s future. But so are many other things. It’s tempting and likely comforting to think of podcasting as a static thing that was made perfect in 2006. But you already know what I think of that short-sighted view of podcasting. So while I don’t think social audio is podcasting’s eventual, pre-determined evolutionary form (and that’s not how evolution works anyhow), I do think that social audio is going to exist along with podcasting, and both will evolve over time.

2. Is Clubhouse a distribution channel for my podcast?

A smart play in podcasting is to distribute your podcast on every channel. And the natural inclination of podcasters-one I’m guilty of myself-is to find ways to distribute our podcast’s episodes on platforms where they don’t quite fit. YouTube, for example. Or audiograms. So while it’s technically possible to push your episodes out on Clubhouse, it’s a bad fit. There’s nothing inherently social about publishing the audio file of a podcast. And brute-forcing your latest episode into a room on Clubhouse isn’t going to make it so.

3. Will Clubhouse kill podcasting?

Buggles aside, did video actually kill the radio star? Last time I checked, in-ear-only music remains the way most people listen to music, either from a music app or via their stereo. Did podcasting kill radio? I may have contributed to the hyperbole of the early aughts, but no podcaster from back then is all that surprised that radio is still with us today. And Twitter didn’t kill long-form journalism, as was also predicted.

4. As a podcaster, should I invest my valuable time building my brand on Clubhouse?

I know you’re busy. You already spend dozens of hours a week on your podcast, your job, your family, and other things important to you as a person. And yes, like any social platform, Clubhouse can be a huge time-suck if you want to get anything substantial from the platform. Worse, you’re building a brand on someone else platform, and that platform could either fold or be displaced by someone bigger. Hi, Twitter Spaces!

5. How can podcasters use Clubhouse?

Well, that’s what many podcasters are actively experimenting with right now. They’re inventing this space as they go along. And starting tomorrow, Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:00a MT, I’m going to join them. Tomorrow, I’m extending the Podcast Pontifications brand to Clubhouse. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to record an episode of Podcast Pontifications on Clubhouse. See “bad idea” from earlier in this piece.

Podcast philosopher. Professional contrarian. On a mission to make podcasting better. Hip he/him. คุณ | http://PodcastPontifications.com | http://Simpler.Media

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