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