The rising popularity of Clubhouse has been making many heads turned. All of a sudden app stores are flooded with social audio apps that are trying to grab a sizeable share of the newly developed market which is estimated worth tens of billions of dollars currently.
The latest report from SensorTower depicts that the growth of social audio apps is largely driven by Clubhouse, which has accounted for over 80% of the total downloads of the three largest social audio apps recorded in 2021.
The three largest social audio apps – Clubhouse, Stereo and Spoon – accounts for a lion’s share of the market and Clubhouse with 15.3 million downloads in 2021 emerged as the clear winner among them all.
Overall, the aforementioned top three apps, together, reached 20 million downloads in 2021.
The sudden rise of Clubhouse in terms of popularity and downloads was attributed to the indirect endorsement by Elon Musk. The third-richest person in the world and one of the most followed entrepreneurs on social media platforms, Elon’s two tweets attracted the eyeballs of many thought leaders and his followers towards Clubhouse. He even invited a few of the world’s renowned personalities, like the Russian President Vladimir Putin, to join Clubhouse – the invite-only social audio platform.
As a result, in the month of February, the number of Clubhouse downloads skyrocketed to 9.6 million – nearly 4x than 2.4 million downloads recorded in the previous month.
The trend, however, changed quickly as Clubhouse downloads tumble down in the month of March. The SensorTower report highlights that global downloads of the Clubhouse app reached 2.7 million, a downfall of 72% compared with February figures.
Clubhouse Facing Serious Competition
It’s not just Clubhouse that has seen the spike in the number of downloads oin the month of February. Other social audio apps also noticed similar trends in the market. For example, Stereo, another social audio app, recorded an unprecedented jump of 172% in the number of downloads in February. From mere 551,000 downloads in January to 1.5 million in February the spike couldn’t go unnoticed.
However, just like Clubhouse, Stereo downloads fall back 980,000 globally in the month of March.
But not all social audio apps received the similar response as Clubhouse or Stereo. Probably the oldest player in this space, Spoon witnessed quite a different response from the market. Started in 2016, Spoon has a total of 26 million installs globally, making it the most popular social audio apps currently available in the market. The rising popularity of Clubhouse, however, is coming at the cost of Spoon which is clearly visible from the monthly downloads of Spoon.
Unlike Clubhouse and Stereo, Spoon’s downloads fall to 16%, reaching 372,000 in February. Since October last year the number of monthly downloads of Stereo apps has been on the constant decline. In the last 12 months, Stereo’s monthly downloads has fallen to more than half, clearly indicating that competition in the space is rising and new entrants are fast eating into the markets share of Spoon.
The rising popularity of the social audio app has attracted the eyeballs of many tech giants as well. Facebook is quick to roll out a similar app and introducing a fleet of options making it hard for Clubhouse to acquire users as fast as before. Twitter also didn’t miss the bus and announced audio tweet feature. Reddit, on another hand, is reportedly testing a Clubhouse like audio chat feature.
Experts and analysts believe that the future belongs to audio and video. In social space, apps like Clubhouse are going to be the next big thing. Perhaps that’s the reason investors pouring more money into the Clubhouse, valuing it a whopping $4 billion within a year of its launch.
Whatever be the situation in future, it would be interesting to see how many users stick with such social audio apps once they get over the initial craze and hype surrounding it. The real potential and future can only be gauged then.