By Alexandre Ravagnani, Executive Creative Officer of Repense
The launch of Clubhouse, a social media based on voice chat, is still rebounding like the "invention of the wheel" these days. Searches for the app on Google grew 525% in one week, according to the search engine. Such an initiative boomed the technology market even more in a real race to have the best solution and attract the largest number of people.
It could not be any different, because audio as a concept has been used for a long time, but a mix of audio conferencing, podcasts, and live calls is something definitely new.
In the age where consumer attention is surely the most valuable commodity of the century, giving the user space to propose content in a conversation to people directly interested in the topic is an interesting novelty, to say the least.
It is almost an evolution of the radio program dynamics, which promote this interactivity, but based on what is relevant to the large number of people who are following that programming.
Solutions such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, and soon the new apps from tech companies such as Facebook that have already announced they are launching similar solutions, propose the assertiveness of this subject, making it more exclusive. And this premise permeates everything in this environment. Selectivity is the premise for "existing" on such media, as an invitation is required to join clubhouse, and Twitter Spaces is still in a testing phase where only selected users can create spaces.
It is in this sense that several brands can use these channels to reach their target audience. These are spaces to talk about relevant topics in a direct manner. Brand image strengthening can have extraordinary reach in this sense, as it is no longer a conflict zone where the brand "appears" in the middle of a Youtube video or "interrupts" your favorite TV show for a commercial break. Everyone is there wanting to hear the message that a certain "speaker" is saying.
The Brazilian audience is more than interested in this approach, as it can be seen based on the success of podcasts. According to IBOPE, about 40% of Brazil's Internet population, which results in 50 million Brazilians, have already listened to podcasts. And the production of such content is growing at a rapid pace. In the first half of last year alone, podcasts in Portuguese grew 103% according to the State of the Podcast Universe survey, published by Voxnest.
That we have a vast and unexplored fertile ground regarding how advertising can reinvent itself again to absorb even more dynamic ways of communicating, is a fact. But the bottleneck of accessibility still needs to be developed, and this is where companies need to work with resources that we already have such as audio description, interpreters, and perhaps even the insertion of subtitles in some content. The dilemma persists, which is to make the exclusive inclusive even if in a multitude of digital bubbles that we have already absorbed in other media.
Not to mention the recent news revealed, according to inç, Clubhouse is recording the conversations of its users. Also, the app does not allow the user to delete the information its friends share. Not to mention that it is simply impossible to delete the account, and the app can use its personal information collected without asking permission. Therefore, it is important to regulate, as not to find "Cambridge Analytica" down the road.
It is only a matter of time before audio is definitely another communication foundation, an asset that we have already discovered as consumers and that is becoming increasingly essential. Brands are finding their "brand voice," which can become their most humanized side, being an important part of branding and thus broadening the dialogue with the consumer.
As we said, the Clubhouse is innovating, but the use of audio is not new. Examples such as Spotify and the voice assistants that have been improving, technology has helped these innovations to really connect more people, bringing facilities into their home and also to disseminate with more accessibility all the content that is available. The barriers are coming down and the consumer is the winner. It is the power of choice of how, when and what they want to consume, and also being able to choose whether they want to relate to a brand through audio.
It is in this classic way of communicating, orally, that we may be able to further solve this complexity of digital interaction, it is another path that has developed with good possibilities. We expect updates and innovations in the coming moments, perhaps the news out there will give even more results on what we actually want to hear.