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(image via Rolling Stone)
OK, let's talk about Clubhouse.
Clubhouse is blowin' UP UP UP lately. Should you jump on the latest social media sensation? I'm not an expert, but here's a short primer on what you should know (for a much more in-depth analysis, I love Social Media Examiner's starter guide):

- What is it: A group voice chat app that lets you connect with others in real-time. There are no visuals or video - just audio. 

- What helped me understand it: Think of it as an actual clubhouse. There's a "hallway" or main feed where you can wander into "rooms" of people talking about specific subjects, depending on what clubs you've joined or people you've followed.

- What it's good for: Networking. Since a lot of us are still bored in the house and in the house bored, this is a great way to find music industry experts or others who can help you learn or become a new connection.  

- What it's not good for: Playing and listening to music, or at least the rooms I've been in that have attempted to play recorded tracks have been poor quality. 
Marketing takeaway: Once you get your invite (Clubhouse is still in beta and is invite-only), follow 3-5 rooms and/or people you're interested in learning from. Don't be scared to ask questions when prompted in rooms. Make sure your profile page is completed with your photo and other social networking links. Who knows if Clubhouse will stick around or become just another fad, but with some calling it the "anti-Twitter," it could be a good space to learn right now while it's still in its early stages. 
(image via The Verge)
Messier Than A Bravo Show: Your Update on Video-Sharing Apps
Get your popcorn, here's the latest in the war of the video-sharing apps: 

- TIKTOK: You may remember former President Trump's order for TikTok to be sold to an American company last year (Oracle and Walmart were big contenders) due to concerns around TikTok's data collection methods and ties to the Chinese government. Welp, President Biden's administration has asked for time to review Trump's concerns to see if a sale or ban is warranted, thus putting the whole thing on hold indefinitely.

Additionally, Tiktok and Universal Music Group (UMG) formed a cool-sounding "expanded global alliance" that will fairly compensate artists and songwriters while also giving users more music options, thus powering the "music-centered culture" on the platform.

- TRILLER: You know who doesn't have a BFFL necklace with UMG? Triller, who suffered a big blow when UMG removed its entire ding dang library from the app after accusing Triller of withholding payments to artists. "We will not work with platforms that do not value artists." SHOTS FIRED. 

- REELS: Instagram recently announced that the algorithm will not reward or promote Reels that feature direct reshares of TikTok videos and have the watermark. They said it's because users have a "less satisfying" experience viewing recycled content but I think they're just being petty. I'm already seeing tools that will remove TikTok watermarks pop up in response, so only time will tell if this is an effective strategy in differentiating themselves. 
Marketing takeaway: Where you choose to make content and build community matters. Considering the stability of a platform before you invest in it is crucial. Video sharing is still young and tumultuous so be thoughtful about where you spend your time and your ultimate goal in doing so. What do you need to get there? 
Spotify is getting a bit creepy with new patent details
According to details in a new US patent, Spotify wants to collect "taste attributes of a user" via speech recognition. These attributes include gender, accent, and most interestingly, emotional state. 

By retrieving metadata from a user's voice and from environmental background noise, the app can determine if the listener is happy, afraid, or sad, just for example. Then Spotify can recommend music that fits what the listener may emotionally need. *brain explodes*
Marketing takeaway: Like most things in tech, I think this is pretty cool and also pretty creepy. It signals to me that Spotify is thinking about how they offer up content way into the future and how they can continue using their playlists and recommendations to shape the direction of the music industry. I wonder, however, how they'll be storing this information and if they'll be sharing it with advertisers (the answer is probably). 

Before You Go
(image via @recphilly)

Happy Black History Month this month and every month! If you're able, consider donating to or getting involved with the The Loveland Foundation or the Black Music Action Coalition.
Alison Clancy is a marketing and community manager for music and tech companies. Learn more about Alison at or say hello on Instagram at @_alisonclancy_
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