Fast-rising audio chat app Clubhouse will now allow users to send money to their favorite creators, the company announced in a blog post today (April 6), promising that the new feature is “the first of many” ways creators will be able to earn money on the platform.
All users on the invite-only app — which has reached approximately 15.6 million installs globally, according to Sensor Tower — will be able to send payments starting today. However, Clubhouse is rolling out the option to collect funds in waves, with the hope to take feedback from a small test group and fine-tune the feature along the way.
To send payments, users can tap the profile of a creator who has the feature enabled, then tap “Send Money” and enter an amount. The first time a user sends money, the user will be asked to register a credit or debit card. Notably, 100% of the payment will go to the creator, although the user sending the money will also be charged a small credit card processing fee that goes directly to Clubhouse’s payment processing partner, Stripe.
“From the earliest days of Clubhouse, a guiding principle has been to build a platform that puts the creator first,” the blog post reads. “Our aim is to help creators build community, audience, and impact. And as Clubhouse continues to scale, it’s important to us to align our business model with that of the creators — helping them make money and thrive on the platform.”
Since launching last March amid the pandemic, Clubhouse has attracted celebrities and executives like Scooter Braun, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Meek Mill, Drake and Virgin Abloh. In January, founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth announced a new Series B funding round led by Andreeseen Horowitz partner Andrew Chen (who also led their Series A), to be allocated toward efforts to boost the app’s user base and foster its growing community of creators — including testing a direct payment feature. At the time, Clubhouse also revealed plans for ticketing and subscription opportunities, as well as a grant program to support the platform’s emerging creators.
Clubhouse’s announcement is the latest in a recent push by social platforms to pay their creators. TikTok launched a $200 million Creator Fund last July, and Snapchat announced that it would pay $1 million daily to the most popular creators on the app’s Spotlight page in November.
Meanwhile, Clubhouse has yet to introduce a monetization model of its own. The company currently relies on venture capital, and will need to figure out a way to make money eventually in order to sustain itself and grow — especially as new competitors enter the red-hot field, from Locker Room, which Spotify acquired last week, to Twitter’s new competitor, Spaces.