Black creators are driving the Clubhouse and podcast audio boom

Posted by Jennifer Adetoro in Culture

3 years ago

In the race to dominate the podcast industry, Apple has asserted its position against Spotify following the launch of its upcoming Apple Podcast subscriptions – podcasters will be able to sell monthly subscriptions within the app for ad-free or bonus content. And, with over ten million people in the UK tuning into podcasts on a weekly basis, it’s no surprise that these tech platforms are battling to monopolise this space. However, as brands begin to gain more interest in the appeal of Clubhouse, it’s also worth reevaluating ways to work with the creators in this thriving industry.

The latest episode of CORQ’s quarterly podcast series The Culture Is Black, which is dedicated to helping our clients navigate the post-Black Lives Matter landscape through investigating the nuances of Black culture, features co-host of the awarding winning podcast Black Gals Livin’Victoria Sanusi. The podcaster shares insight on how the industry has allowed for Black creators to thrive, its future alongside Clubhouse and how brands can do more to work with Black talent in these spaces.

You can listen to each episode on Spotify and Apple and if you have any questions or would like to discuss issues from the series, please contact our client services manager Arabella Johnson on arabella@corq.studio and we can facilitate a Q&A with Jennifer.


– Since its early beginnings, the podcast scene has evolved tremendously and now a lot of Black podcasts are being represented and gaining more attention. Victoria additionally points out that for a long time in the media industry as a whole, there was a lot of typecasting and labelling when it came to Black creators – a limiting notion that there could only be one Black creator in a white-dominated space. However, now thanks to Spotify and social media, the mainstream is moving away from this rhetoric. She also hopes that this pattern will extend to other groups in the Black community such as the LGBTQ+ and disabled community.

– When it comes to Clubhouse, Victoria thinks there are many opportunities but these are dependent on how people utilise it. She points out that Twitter’s live reaction and commentary of the popular rooms help drive the appeal of Clubhouse but that she also likes to go into rooms that are meaningful to her. Particularly rooms relating to property and living at home with parents. And, although Clubhouse is criticised for being a sensationalist app, she argues these toxic behaviours exist on all social media platforms.

– Thoughts on the future of Clubhouse? Victoria believes it will either die down or the company release features that lead to a resurgence in usage. There may also be more high profile discussions with political leaders that will help to do this. She believes the easing of lockdown restrictions won’t necessarily affect the app because audio mediums like podcasts thrived prior to the pandemic.

– So, what can brands do to help Black creators in the audio space? Acknowledge that podcasts are a viable place to work with creators. They have a core listenership and many listeners will tune into a large portion of the podcast which is great for ad placement in comparison to other platforms. Also, don’t just assume that because a podcaster may not necessarily have a strong following on Instagram and Twitter that they’re not pulling in numbers on their podcast streams. For Clubhouse, she also adds that brand collaborations need to be organic and bold. A lot of brands are hesitant to work on Clubhouse but the brands that are quick to experiment there now will benefit more by following their audience as others end up joining a bit too late when the hype has disappeared.

– Lastly, Victoria hopes for more transparency when it comes to money, emphasising it is Black talent who are driving people to Apple and Spotify with their shows, commentary and audio formats.

Subscribe and listen to The Culture Is Black on Spotify and Apple. By Jennifer Adetoro, culture editor for CORQ. Picture credit: Victoria Sanusi via Instagram.