Clubhouse launches direct payments to help creators make money

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Clubhouse is giving creators a new way to make money.
Image: Unsplash | Erin Kwon

Clubhouse has made waves in recent months as people yearn for new ways to get social interaction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It has emerged as a unique social platform that others are now trying to emulate. However, the social audio app remains the most popular of its kind.

Now, it has launched a new way for creators to get paid. Starting Monday, Clubhouse will allow all users to make direct payments to their favorite creators. The platform says that it won’t take a cut of the payments. This is an interesting approach that has big implications for creators on the platform.

Creator Payments

Clubhouse is a sort of enigma in the social media world. For those who aren’t familiar, the platform has risen to notoriety in part due to its exclusivity. Currently, users need an invite before they are able to join the platform.

Once they join, users are able to enter live audio rooms based on certain topics. Creators offer something akin to a live podcast while others chime in with their thoughts. Ultimately, Clubhouse is something like a mix between podcasts, networking, and a virtual cocktail party.

Recently, the company announced a program called Clubhouse Creator First that is designed to help 20 creators build their audiences. It’s a small step forward for the platform as it hopes to scale in the coming days.

Part of the challenge of doing so is attracting top-level creators that will, in turn, bring in new users. Without a way for creators to get paid, this becomes infinitely more difficult. As such, Clubhouse’s new direct payment feature is an integral part of its strategy moving forward.

How it Works

Starting now, all users on the platform will have the ability to pay creators. That being said, not all creators will be able to receive payments just yet. According to a Clubhouse press release, the program is “starting with a small test group.”

To pay creators, users will need to go to their profile. Those who are eligible will have a new “Send Money” button that’s visible. Tapping it gives users the option to enter an amount that they want to send.

Each transaction comes with a “small card processing fee” that goes to Stripe. As noted, however, Clubhouse itself isn’t taking a cut of the payments—at least to start. Users can then add a credit or debit card to their account to make payments in the future.

Moving forward, it’s likely that Clubhouse will introduce more ways for creators to make money on the platform. Although it’s unclear what those will look like, they will be important as the social audio space continues to grow. Perhaps one day soon, Clubhouse will also drop the invite-only model and allow more users to sign up.

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