Clubhouse and Social Audio 2021

Straight Talk About When and How Marketers Should Get Involved

Executive Summary

When Clubhouse usage spiked in February, social audio officially became the latest shiny new thing in social media. Experimental marketers can—and should—venture in, but this is a space to speak softly, not shout.

What is Clubhouse, and why is social audio suddenly on every marketer’s lips?

Social audio sits at the juncture of four activities: social media, digital audio, virtual events, and conversations. It fills the pandemic-driven need for human connection and avoids videoconferencing fatigue. Enter Clubhouse: an invite-only social audio app that allows users to listen to (and participate in) conversations on a variety of topics.

Aside from Clubhouse, which players should marketers pay attention to?

To date, Clubhouse is the largest entrant, but Twitter is expected to launch its version of social audio, dubbed Spaces, this month following several months of beta testing. LinkedIn, Spotify, Discord, Facebook, and Instagram are also starting to embrace social audio, and a raft of startup apps like Fireside and Stereo also hope to make a splash.

How can marketers use social audio?

There are several use cases, including thought leadership, influencer marketing, branded chats, social listening, and virtual events, among other activities. Marketers should move cautiously and focus on experimentation, rather than diving in loudly.

What challenges should marketers be aware of with Clubhouse and social audio?

The biggest challenges for marketers are the lack of scale, the absence of most metrics, and the limited content moderation and brand safety protections.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report explores why Clubhouse and the concept of social audio are trending, and how marketers can start getting involved.

KEY STAT: Worldwide downloads of Clubhouse soared to 10.1 million in February, but the pace appears to have slowed in the first part of March, according to app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. Social Audio: An Intersection of Multiple Trends
    3. Key Social Audio Venues to Know
    4. 5 Ways Marketers Can Use Social Audio Now
    1. 4 Reasons to Put on the Brakes
    2. 3 Glimpses of the Future
    3. Key Takeaways
    4. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    1. Read Next
    2. Sources
    3. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Jessica Dooley
    Social Practice Lead
    Interviewed March 3, 2021
    Ismael El-Qudsi
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed March 15, 2021
    Taylor M. Gerard
    Blue Hour Studios
    Vice President, Creative and Content
    Interviewed March 1, 2021
    Joel Granoff
    Senior Director, Global Marketing, Digital Inbound Channels
    Interviewed March 9, 2021
    Barry Lowenthal
    Media Kitchen
    Interviewed March 5, 2021
    Cara Meiselman
    Director, Strategic Content Marketing and Performance
    Interviewed March 16, 2021
    Rohan Philips
    Global Chief Product Officer
    Interviewed March 15, 2021
    Anna Ratala
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Interviewed March 16, 2021
    Kady Srinivasan
    Senior Vice President, Marketing
    Interviewed March 10, 2021
    Karen Staughton
    West Coast Engagement Director
    Interviewed March 8, 2021
    Megan Stroud
    Pernod Ricard
    Brand Director, Tequilas, Cognac, and Cultural Marketing
    Interviewed March 8, 2021

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    Debra Aho Williamson


    Matteo Ceurvels
    Research Analyst
    Man-Chung Cheung
    Research Analyst
    Caroline Fulford
    Senior Researcher
    Nina Goetzen
    Jeremy Goldman
    Principal Analyst
    Chuck Rawlings
    Senior Researcher