The sound creator is a new kind of influencer, born of the stormy rise of audio-only chat app Clubhouse. Together, they are attracting millions of weekly listeners and building followers online. Now, with the boom of Clubhouse and other social apps, like Twitter, signaling its success, they are joining together and working with major brands.
Audio Collective is one of the great developments in the booming sound era. The company, which announced its founding on Thursday, will provide event planning, brand consulting, support and community services to creators working in the field. Its founders also plan to lobby Clubhouse for stronger censorship policies, better insights and performance metrics, and monetization tools.
The company’s 40 founding members are the creators; they host chat shows, meetups, discussion groups and other popular events and attract millions of followers. Unlike podcasters, who produce edited shows, they perform for a live, interactive audience, just like the live streamers.
Audio Collective’s work will be based on Clubhouse’s In-House Creator Trial Program, announced in December and aimed at enhancing the app’s users proficient. It will also provide services the platform doesn’t currently offer, such as helping brands produce events and match them up with creators on Clubhouse.
This happened as Clubhouse was about to end its first year of boom. According to analytics firm Apptopia, the app has been downloaded more than 4.7 million times since its introduction in April last year. The company raised over $ 100 million in funding in January, setting a valuation of $ 1 billion. In the face of Clubhouse’s rapid rise, companies like Twitter and Facebook are racing to replicate the success of an audio-only format on their own platforms. (A representative from Clubhouse did not respond to a request for comment.)
Industry experts see interactive audio as an exciting field that will create a new wave of stars – and a whole new set of considerations. Adam Davidson, author of the book “The Economics of Passion,” said: “Never before have so many brands, entrepreneurs, influencers and people reaching out to their most devoted audiences immediately. “Like any means of transformation, it brings new opportunities and terrifying new pitfalls, while at the same time requiring thoughtful, steadfast guidance. Audio Collective is exactly that guide. “
Farokh Sarmad, 26, a Montreal-based entrepreneur and sound creator who is not part of Audio Collective but has already begun to say: “Clubhouse will create the most powerful and influential influencers of our time. Because voice is the most powerful communication tool people have. establish your own partnership groups on Clubhouse.
Talented scouts, agents and marketing executives are looking to Clubhouse for unexplored creators and opportunities. “We were able to partner with the creators we met on Clubhouse right away,” said Lindsay Fultz, senior vice president of partnership at Whalar, an influential marketing firm. with 10 Fortune brands. The creators of Audio Collective have worked with brands like Showtime, Milk Bar and Cash App.
Francesca Hogi, 46, a Los Angeles-based creator with more than 323,000 followers on Clubhouse said: “Each of us gets a lot of requests from brands, agencies, studios, and organizations. “We are being approached by other creators who see us as being able to build communities and innovate, and at the same time they want to collaborate with us.”
Audio Collective’s founding members produce all types of content. Mir Harris staged a performance of the Disney musical “The Lion King” on the Clubhouse. Leiti Hsu runs a popular gala dinner variety show. Kat Cole, a former business executive, organizes rooms that focus on leadership.
Rembrandt Flores, founder of AgentC, a talent and branding agent for Clubhouse creators, says his phone has “squealed” since its agency’s launch less than a year ago. week. “It reminds me of the days when Instagram was first launched, all of these management companies were born from there,” he said. “Now there is this new vehicle. We’re tired of the photos and videos, so you don’t have to worry about it on Clubhouse. It is so free. This new group of influencers will rule the world. “
As Clubhouse continued to add millions of users during the month, it faced complaints of hate speech, harassment, and misinformation. “One of the things we are committed to as a team is helping to establish the Clubhouse community’s character,” said Ms. Hogi. The team plans to promote the company for thoughtful censorship and safety tools.
Catherine Connors, 49, a Los Angeles-based sound creator, said: “We want people to have good and safe experiences on the platform and we continue to be the most stout advocates of the tool is safer and more reliable, ”said Catherine Connors, 49, a Los Angeles-based audio creator.
Some creators feel that the app is selling them off. When a person subscribes to Clubhouse, they will be prompted to follow the recommended users of the app; many of those users are app investors and their close associates. Audio Collective’s aim is to help enhance voice creativity.
Mr. Sarmad said other collaborative groups and collectives are popping up on Clubhouse, especially among young users. “Just like how Viners met, and Instagrammers got together to grow and collaborate seven years ago, it’s happening backstage on Clubhouse,” he said.
“We are trying to build alliances together to rule the application in a good way,” he added. “Everything people see in the room is a result of what happened a few days ago in the following channels. People are forming collaborative groups ”.
The creators from Audio Collective say they see themselves as part of a bigger shift to independent work, following in the footsteps of Instagram influencers, YouTube users, TikTok star and streamers. live on Twitch. “We find ourselves building on the broader media and creator landscape,” said Ms. Connors.
“Part of what we want to do is not just create a model of how sounds can be transformed,” she said, “but also give the creator a boost to culture. so that this culture is not shaped by backgrounds and technologists, but artists and creators and talents. “