5 Clubhouse Rivals to Seriously Consider

Brian Penny
7 min readMay 30, 2021
Twitter Spaces with Leadership Breaking Down Clubhouse Cult

Clubhouse is a long way from its peak of 10 million users (only 2 million users are active in any given week). Although it had a massive buzz in 2020, leadership infamously dropped the ball on servicing customers to focus on building a cult around CEO Paul Davison.

Davison ignores both his platform’s users and creators, instead focusing on building false fame for himself and his a16z cohorts. The entire group lords their power over users, none of whom are earning any money.

This is because Clubhouse mistakenly forged a “Creator First” path in a pitiful attempt to regain lost consumer trust. Davison offered $5,000 per month for three months to a group of 20 creators. Over 5,000 people applied, and only 51 were chosen to broadcast a Creator First pilot. But as pointed out previously, Creator First is the worst possible business path.

Now that I deleted Clubhouse, I’m moving on to the many competitors to break down why they will beat this house of cards run by a cult. The Clubhouse Townhall is the absolute worst usage of Clubhouse features, and it reminds us daily just how immature and incompetent its leader Paul Davison is.

Davison is terrified of user feedback, and he creates a bubble around himself to ignore all the complaints. It’s those complaints that caused a mass exodus away from Clubhouse toward safer, more useful, and infinitely more monetizable platforms. Here are five that are growing on the back of Davison’s complete failure as a leader.

Notice they all have dark mode instead of snapping at you and telling you as the user to turn down your screen brightness like Davison does constantly.

Twitter Spaces

Twitter Spaces beats Clubhouse

Twitter is a social media platform I’ve been on personally since 2009. The platform itself launched in 2006, and it was the Arab Spring and Occupy that ultimately cemented Twitter in the lexicon. The company was rumored to be in talks with Davison, but they saw what I saw in their due diligence — Clubhouse has no real infrastructure and is just a cult for a man who’s too high on his own supply.

Instead of feeding the cult, Twitter introduced Spaces, which it built to mimic Clubhouse features. After leaving Clubhouse, I held a Space with Twitter’s top leadership team to outline Davison’s failures and guide them to the correct answer of using pre-existing brand and celebrity accounts to run Spaces as Stages to broadcast across Twitter.

This makes Twitter a great place for creators seeking monetization and brand partnerships. It has a prebuilt audience that’s Listener First and gives creators an actual crowd of listeners (something you’ll never get in Clubhouse’s ghost town of an app filled with empty clubs and long-abandoned user accounts).

Using Twitter is simple, and thanks to the laziness of Clubhouse, you can directly link back to your Twitter profile in your Clubhouse profile to port your following away from the cult. You can find me on Spaces through one of my many Twitter accounts.

Reddit Talk

Reddit has subject experts Clubhouse only wishes it did…

One thing Clubhouse users don’t like is that they have a bigger following on Clubhouse than any other social media platform. This is because they’re only “famous” within their digital cult. Outside in the real world, these Clubhouse “celebrities” are d-listers that nobody in their industry ever heard of. And everyone on Clubhouse is talking out the side of their mouths far from their areas of expertise.

Reddit is different — you can’t give out misinformation on Reddit without being immediately checked by at least a handful of people. The platform was created in 2005 and runs on a simple upvote/downvote system with gamified trophies. It’s already divided into a lot of categories and subcategories that are entirely focused on the subject matter instead of personalities.

This makes Reddit an ideal place to host Reddit Talk sessions. As the admin of r/ClubhouseConvos, I’m on Reddit Talk’s waitlist. Once approved, I’ll being opening Talk rooms within that subreddit for anyone interested. Unlike Clubhouse, content is king on Reddit, and nobody will make it far making up fake credentials.

Discord Stages

As toxic and crypto-filled as it is, Discord Beats Clubhouse with text messages

Discord was founded in May 2015 as a feature-rich group chat platform designed for microcommunities. It initially found its footing in the gaming community. Video games don’t always have the best in-game chat features, so gamers within a party will use Discord to communicate via voice, video, and text via the platform’s servers.

Servers are like Clubhouse Clubs in that they’re a group of chats all related to the overarching topic of the server. Unlike Clubhouse, however, you’re able to type and read text messages, get to know people, and really see something built in each of these clubs to determine how active they truly are.

Nobody at Discord has any reason to falsely pump numbers like Clubhouse. They don’t need to fake celebrities or hide all the empty clubs and users. Discord is just Discord, and you’ll be interacting with a lot of the same gamers and crypto kids that you find in Clubhouse anyway.

You’ll need Discord Nitro ($9.99/mo or $99/year) to personalize your Discord profile, and you can add me as user Versability#5169.

Facebook Live Audio Rooms

Facebook is going to destroy the Clubhouse cult…

Facebook is also in the Clubhouse clone race, and it announced Live Audio Rooms in April 2021. Like Twitter and Reddit, Facebook already has a vast listener-first archive of content. It has the club architecture Davison wanted but is too lazy and incompetent to build himself. That means Zuckerberg and company have a leg up on their cult leader rival.

The initial rollout of Live Audio Rooms is happening within Facebook’s Groups, which have over 1 billion monthly users. Giving these users the ability to start live audio rooms and broadcast across the Group page means these group admins can leverage existing clubs with hundreds of millions of users. That completely crushes anything on Clubhouse.

And that’s just the tip — as soon as it gets rolling, everyone will be able to create audio rooms within Messenger, Facebook, and more. You’ll even be able to create 9-minute audio podcast clips to start your own podcasting career, something Clubhouse purposely makes impossible, so nobody has the documentation to put Davison and a16z in prison where they belong. You won’t get exploited on Facebook, but you’ll be broadcasting to your friends and family, which some people would rather not do.

Follow me on Facebook if you’d like to chat through that platform.

Spotify Locker Room

Spotify Locker Room does what Clubhouse and the NFL fumbled…

Last, but not least, we have Spotify.

While everyone competes with Clubhouse, Spotify is the end goal of Davison’s audio creator cult. He wants to act as the record label and broadcaster for the new generation of creators and is involving himself in far too much of the Creator First creator’s personal business.

If you were to sign up for YouTube or Spotify, you’ll have so much more freedom as a creative entrepreneur than Davison gave his Creator First team. They’re locked into contracts similar to 360 contracts used in music to keep ownership of an artist and their work. Davison didn’t earn any of that and has no business taking from people he didn’t create.

That’s why many sensible users are moving to Spotify’s podcasting platform. Although it’s exclusive to Spotify, it lets you use music from its huge roster of professionals. The problem with Clubhouse is nobody at that company knows how to negotiate those rights, so everyone playing music on that platform is in deep legal trouble.

And Clubhouse is straight forward that they’re not protecting users. It is up to you to watch what you play in your rooms, and people are going to lose their shirts for stealing music.

Instead of wasting time on Clubhouse, many audio creators are leveraging Spotify for Podcasters, which I’ll be starting up soon enough. For now, you can get started yourself at Spotify for Podcasters.

Clubhouse Rivals Conclusion

Clubhouse held my account hostage for a week and this is how I had to get it deleted…

Clubhouse had buzz last year, but it wasted everything by focusing on building a cult for its leader Paul Davison instead of focusing on creators and listeners. He built a “Creator First” platform that only serves him as the creator of the platform. Everyone else is simply unpaid slave labor trying to convince themselves to believe in Davison’s delusions.

But any real creator knows they’re capable of getting everything he promises without him. Davison is a clown with no experience in the creator economy. He’s just riding his slaves to glory he never earned, and he will absolutely fail. Come see me on a real social audio platform filled with real creators if you wanna chat.

I don’t associate with Clubhouse losers though.

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Brian Penny

Bank whistleblower turned freelance writer and troll.