Now, with Clubhouse, a year-long social audio app valued at $ 1 billion, users can send money to their favorite creators – or speakers – on the platform. In a blog post, the startup announced the new Clubhouse Payments monetization feature as “the first of many features that developers can use to get paid directly to Clubhouse.”
Clubhouse declined to comment. Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davison mentioned in the company’s recent town hall that the startup wants to focus on directly monetizing creators rather than advertising.
Here’s how it works: A user can send a payment at the clubhouse by going to the profile of the creator they want to give money to. If the creator has enabled the feature, the user can tap “Send Money” and enter an amount. It’s like a virtual tip jar or clubhouse version of Venmo (although the payment feature doesn’t currently allow the user to send a personalized message along with the money).
“100% of the payment goes to the creator. The person sending the money will also be charged a small card processing fee, which goes straight to our payment processing partner Stripe, ”the post said. “Clubhouse won’t take anything.”
Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, tweeted shortly after the blog post appeared, “It’s cool to see a new social platform focusing on attendees’ income first rather than internalized monetization / advertising.”
It’s cool to see a new social platform focusing on * subscriber * income first rather than internalized monetization / advertising. Excited for the burgeoning creative economy and the next era of internet business models.
– Patrick Collison (@patrickc) April 5, 2021
When the startup set up a Series B under the direction of Andreessen Horowitz in January, part of the reported $ 100 million in funding is said to have been used for a creator grant program. According to a blog post, the program is intended to “support aspiring clubhouse creators”. It’s unclear how they define emerging, but cultivating influencers (and rewarding them with money) is one way the startup is promoting quality content on its platform.
The synergies are obvious. A clubhouse builder can now get tips for a great show or raise money for a great cause while being rewarded as a returning host by the platform itself.
The fact that Clubhouse’s first attempt at monetization did not include a percentage cut of its own is certainly noteworthy. Monetization or lack of it in the clubhouse has been a topic of discussion about the lively startup since it started in the first months of the pandemic. While it currently relies on venture capital to keep the wheels going, it has to make money at some point to be a self-sustaining business.
Monetizing the developers with a truncation of the platform has led to the growth of large companies. Cameo, a startup that sends personalized messages from developers and celebrities, is reducing every video sold on its platform by around 25%. The startup achieved unicorn status last week with a $ 100 million donation. OnlyFans, another platform that helps developers raise money directly from fans in exchange for paywall contacts, predicts sales of $ 1 billion in 2021.
As of today, Clubhouse’s payment function will initially be tested by a “small test group”, but it is unclear who belongs to this group. Finally, the payment function is made available to other users in waves.