We may be biased, but we’re loving this week’s Scoop, because it focuses on several ongoing key themes for 2021: the increased attention on the use of audio and accessibility within digital communities, connected TV’s insane rise in viewers and relevant ad campaigns within an industry that doesn’t usually get “positive” coverage ✈️.
The Race is on to Retain Audio Users…
Clubhouse remains the go-to audio platform, but soon it won’t be the only game in town (and downloads are beginning to decline). Recent rumors have revealed that LinkedIn is developing its own audio rooms, joining Facebook in the race to potentially increase the time users spend on their respective platforms. Twitter is continuing to push its Spaces feature with an announcement that it is opening its current beta to users with Android devices, expanding to an area where currently Clubhouse has no stake. Twitter also has an upper hand, as Spaces will be available to all users when the feature is fully rolled out and will not require an invitation.
…But Clubhouse is Building a New Addition with Influencers in Mind
Amid reports that Clubhouse is seeking a new valuation of $4 billion, the audio-based platform has turned to its influencers to help keep audiences engaged, announcing that influencers in its accelerator program can now receive direct payments from their audiences. What’s more, Clubhouse will not take a cut of these payments (minus a small transaction fee via Stripe). While most companies would have grabbed onto this monetizing option, Clubhouse is embracing the new direct-to-consumer influencer model that has seen sites such as Patreon grow in recent years. Clubhouse benefits by building goodwill with influencers and appealing to those who enjoy the exclusivity, but this version of direct payments seems to be upping the ante with competitor features such as Twitter’s “Super Follows.”
Here’s how our team is reacting to the update:
This is a good first step by Clubhouse toward monetizing the platform. It’s clear that it hasn’t made any decisions on how best to allow companies to advertise, but providing the ability for content creators to get paid seems like a great way for Clubhouse to attract new users to its platform. – Chuck Hemann, Practice Leader, Integrated Intelligence & Activation
This “tipping” feature will benefit influential moderators in the short-term, but true financial gains will be made when Clubhouse facilitates connections between brands and moderators to support them in a more substantial and sustainable way. – Missy Voronyak, Managing Director, Social Media & Influencer Activation
With All that Audio, Accessibility on Social Media is More Important than Ever
Some social media apps are making moves to become more accessible for people who are hearing impaired, but there’s still work to be done. TikTok recently announced the launch of auto-captions on videos, and Instagram began testing closed captioning on Stories. But many creators and users who are deaf or blind say they are still often excluded from major updates, driving them to find complicated workarounds themselves. (For example, TikTok users, such as Andy Marks, provide tips to fellow creators to help make the platform more accessible.) In the meantime, brands should prioritize making their own content inclusive, whether by captioning videos or capitalizing the first letter of each word of a multiword hashtag for voice readers to read each word clearly. Doing so will not only help reach a wider audience but allow for an equitable experience for all users.
@andycmarks#SpreadTheWord #CapitalizeHashtags #Accessibility #FYP #Blind♬ original sound – Andy Marks
Digital Streaming Growth Beyond Just Netflix and Hulu
The increase in time spent streaming digital video at home during the pandemic has been well documented, but most discussions have centered on premium platforms such as Netflix and Prime video. However, ad-supported video on on-demand platforms (AVOD) have also experienced a boom with Roku’s channel gaining 63 million viewers, Pluto TV’s ad revenue surpassing $1 billion, and Tubi considering developing original content. This shows that streaming has a diverse, yet segmented, ecosystem with many unique opportunities to reach consumers while leveraging data targeting and cost efficiencies.
Airlines Offer Fresh Look at Evolution of Safety Messaging
Americans have long been ready for a return to normal, but last month’s emotional “Get back to what you love” video from Google (we’re not crying, you’re crying) made that seem more tangible than ever. Queries such as “round trip flights to Florida” surged 350% in the last 90 days, and airlines are evolving their messaging to match. What started as a social mandate for airlines to explain how they would ensure the safety of passengers has evolved to a declaration that airlines are ready to help consumers “reclaim their lives,” in which even discount codes – such as “BUCKETLIST” – reflect the understanding that travelers are ready to make up for lost time. In a statement provided to Marketing Brew, Charuta Fadnis, SVP of research and product strategy at Phocuswright said, “We’ll still see some level of safety related messaging continue, at least for the near term. But it’ll shift from ‘It’s safe to fly’ to ‘Here’s how we are still keeping you safe.’”
In Other News…
As Microsoft is set to buy healthcare speech transcription company Nuance Communications, the New York Times asks if medical computing can make us healthier.
Real Chemistry’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.
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