Commentary

Can Voice-Based Social-Media Apps Help TV Marketers?

Hear my voice, not just my written words.

Clubhouse, a new social-media platform, pushes that point of view. Any advantages here for marketing and promoting TV networks, programming and viewership?

Clubhouse is a rising audio-based social network where people can talk to each other in big discussion groups. But you need an “invite” to participate, just like a real clubhouse. September downloads rose to 2.4 million last month from 2,000.

Others like Facebook are considering adding a voice social-media component. Twitter has already added a voice feature for tweeting and is testing Spaces, an audio chat-room. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is working on an audio-focused social platform called Fireside, expected to launch this year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why Clubhouse and others? Social-media engagement may need clarity. Words on a page don’t say it all, or at least enough to truly hear one’s view.

And think about it. Specific short tweets or Facebook posts can get high-profile people into trouble -- content that can easily be sent around the world in an instant, sometimes with dramatic circumstances with regard to their careers.

Recently, Gina Carano, a rising star on Disney+'s “The Mandalorian,” was fired for some offensive associations in tweets. One of her recent ones reportedly compared Republicans to Jews living in Nazi Germany. Disney’s Lucasfilm immediately fired her, calling the tweet “abhorrent.” At the same time, her talent agency dropped her.

Is there better context needed? Maybe her discussion group would question her sharply, and she would reconsider her viewpoint. Speaking with one’s actual voice in a discussion group would/could add context. Maybe.

Quick-hit missives help top TV and movies actors and personalities gain fans and promote their brands with short and snappy memes. Text-based social media has given traditional TV and movie marketing a strong, positive lift in recent years.

But it may not be enough against declines in legacy TV usage. Conversely, newbie streaming platforms need all the help they can get.

One reviewer characterized Clubhouse this way: "What if Twitter was a podcast you lived inside of?" Use your real voice.

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