Not all “audio” is equal, when it comes to content

Updated: Jan 21


Spark! Studios insights


Are you still on Clubhouse?


Remember when Clubhouse was a thing for a hot moment earlier in 2021? Live conversations really are not “podcasts,” but it seems like the TED podcasting network is eager to explore synergies as it partners with Clubhouse to bring exclusive audio content to the platform. But then again, maybe it was Clubhouse that nudged TED in on the deal, as it’s offering them the option to sell ads through its content on the platform and keep all the proceeds. Bit of a win-win?


Spark! Studios insights

For a moment this year, as Clubhouse started to take over the cool kids club, it seemed like all the big social media platforms started to introduced live audio features of their own. Twitter was one of these platforms to do so – it created Spaces. Though I personally am not on their platform (so I haven’t given Spaces a try yet), they must’ve cracked something right as they’re now even monetizing the feature. Recently, Twitter announced its paid audio events feature – Ticketed Spaces.



The holy grail of Audio


In another corner of Audio World lives Spotify, and it really wants to be the one-stop shop for all things audio. And so, it recently unveiled its own live audio feature called Green Room, but with a twist – those conversations can then be turned into podcasts *dum dum duuuum*. Pretty clever not to let all that fun chit chatter disappear into thin air. In fact, it acquired Locker Room (a live audio startup) earlier this year, just as Clubhouse started to get a bit too popular.



Group chats


Facebook has also entered the live audio space – no surprises there – by introducing the Live Audio Room feature. The idea here is to increase engagement in those dead Facebook groups and communities.


Even Discord has joined in on the trend. The popular group-chatting app has recently introduced "Live Stages". These are live voice channels that can be accessed by virtually anyone who owns the app (Think: Instagram Live). These are perfect for in-house karaoke events or talent shows, but the possibilities are limitless. Are future podcasts or audiobooks incoming?



Non-audio industries experiment with chat rooms


Donno if you guys have heard, but video is really the future of all content (until 3D kicks in, that is). And so, the trend one-upping live audio is live video. What’s trending right now is Livestream shopping, where an influencer goes live on social media to interact with potential buyers and “influence” them to buy this or that (#socialcommerce). Guess where this modern-day infomercial content is trending the most? China, of course – and they’re bringing in $60b a year this year.


Speaking of China, TikTok recently signed a deal with Shopify that would allow creators on its platforms to link products for their fans to directly buy them through an integration with Shopify.


Let’s wrap things off with other live audio use cases. Match Group, which owns a whole suite of dating platforms like OkCupid and Tinder is planning to integrate live audio and video into its dating apps.




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