Music Business

Could Spotify and Clubhouse be the perfect match? [VIDEO]

In an effort to further stand out from their streaming competitors, Spotify appears to be floating the idea of a possible merger with audio-focused social media platform Clubhouse – but will it actually move forward?

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

Combining two of the biggest audio-focused apps on the planet seems like a no-brainer, but will it actually happen?

The competition for listener attention and money in the crowded audio space is fierce. With virtually all streaming platforms offering the same songs, the only thing that can separate each brand is in the features they offer. Podcasts alone are not enough. High-fidelity recordings are not enough. The companies that rise above in 2021 and beyond need to be thinking outside the box, and it looks like Spotify may be doing just that with its latest activity. 

Recently, Spotify Daniel Ek participated in a Clubhouse event with Mark Zuckerberg that seemed to reveal his interest in audio-driven social technology. He then confirmed this belief in an interview with The Verge where he stated:

“I think that there’s a number of different elements of what social audio or Clubhouse even is. So I think on the one end, you’re seeing the interaction between two or more people talking, and obviously, if you think about podcasts today, that’s typically the format that’s working pretty well there, too. So I’m not surprised that that’s working.

I’m also not surprised that social features, users to users interacting with each other, are working. So it is an interesting space, and it’s definitely something that we’re keeping an eye on. Long-term, though, I think the broader shift that has been true with the internet has been most of the hours of consumption, we believe, will be moving from linear to on-demand. Meaning consumers should be able to consume whatever content that they want on their terms and not necessarily be beholden to someone else’s schedule. So I think it’s a really interesting format from a creation perspective, but I suspect that from the consumption perspective, most of the time consumed will still be on-demand which is what Spotify is known for today.

The interest Ek — and by extension, Spotify — has in Clubhouse doesn’t stop there. In the last week, the streaming service has asked users with ad-supported streaming subscriptions to offer their thoughts on Clubhouse. The survey ends with a notice that the company will likely have more questions about Clubhouse soon.

But what does this mean? Two ideas that come to mind:

  • Spotify is considering acquiring Clubhouse.
  • Spotify is preparing to launch a native version of Clubhouse.

In the latest Music Biz update, host James Shotwell explains the latest rumors and argues that combining these two wildly popular apps could mark the dawn of a new age in music consumption and conversation. Check it out:

Spotify — or any streaming service — offering a native version of Clubhouse could be a pivotal moment in digital music evolution. For the first time, artists would host interactive fan events in the same place where their music is available for consumption. Rather than pointing fans from IG live, Zoom, or Twitch to yet another platform, everything an artist needs to engage with fans would be in one place.

Only time will tell what happens between these apps, but given Ek’s interest it seems likely something will develop in the months and years ahead. Stay tuned.

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James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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