Greenroom Arrives. Is it the beginning of the end for Clubhouse?

Spotify has launched their “Clubhouse” clone. What does that mean for you, Clubhouse and the future of social audio?


If you have yet to hear about the golden child of Silicon Valley before then buckle your seatbelts kids, because here is the scoop. Clubhouse is an audio-only social media platform that burst into the world a little over a year ago and exploded like a fidget spinner in 2017. If you have been living under a rock and haven’t a clue what we are talking about, you can read all about it here.

Live audio revamped social media

What Clubhouse created is the opportunity to authentically connect with people the world over. You can find your tribe, dramatically expand your professional network and immerse yourself in interesting and engaging conversations on demand. Live social audio is the “return to realness” the social-media users we’re craving. Clubhouse cemented themselves as the iconic definition of the term #nofilter and people loved it; but that sort of attention never goes unnoticed. 

Enter every man and his dog 

Inevitably the big boys have paid attention. Rumours and whispers of Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn and even Slack creating their own version of a social audio platform have been circulating for months. Some I can see the logic behind, others not so much (I’m looking at you Slack). But there is one in particular that definitely did make sense to me. Live audio is a logical development for Spotify and apparently they seem to agree. 


A couple days ago Spotify launched their version on the live-audio trend. They claim the platform is to “Talk music, sports and culture live”. Ten minutes on the platform however, and it’s obvious that the conversational topics are a mimic of those we are used to seeing on Clubhouse. 

Spotify didn’t build Greenroom from the ground up. It acquired locker room, previously a live audio app for sports fans, slapped on the spotify branding and essentially had everything they needed to wade knee deep into the competition. 

So what’s the difference?

Honestly very little. I jumped between numerous rooms on Greenroom for the exact same reason most people have. Is it better? Will it kill Clubhouse? Should I build a following here? The majority of Greenroom, as it experienced it, was a weird crossover between the Lockerroom veterans and a number of recognisable faces from Clubhouse having “no-topic” conversations, motivated by a desperate grab for early-adopter clout. 

What features are featured?

On the tech side of things there are a few ways Greenroom differs from Clubhouse. I’ll start with the positives, then serve up the downsides for a tasty dessert. 


Discussion chat thread – What Clubhouse has been lacking is a way for those in the audience to contribute to the conversation. Greenroom offers a chat thread which makes this possible 

Recording – Spotify allows the creator of the room to record and keep the audio of the room. This will be a huge benefit for podcasters or those looking to repurpose content. 

Market – Spotify enters with the power of huge brand recognition. Unlike Clubhouse, they launched immediately for both Android and IOS, they already have a huge user base and will likely be able to expand much faster than their grass roots rival. 


One room host – Greenroom only allows one person to have all the “power” in a room. This is problematic for a number of reasons. It’s difficult to manage, it could get petty and it offers less people the opportunity to share their value. 

The user journey – The interface has so much going on it’s a sensory overload. With the layout, colouring and chat function it’s difficult to keep up. You also cannot return to a room you have left or see where the people you follow are speaking/listening. 

The conversations – As i said before. For the moment at least, Greenroom is all about the clout. The gem feature allows you to “gift” a speaker and already it’s become very much about status. The lack of structure or valuable conversations means it doesn’t compare to what is offered from Clubhouse. 

So will Greenroom kill Clubhouse?

The reality is it is difficult to know. If it was a race based on value I genuinely believe Clubhouse would have nothing to worry about. Clubhouse is community driven, authentic and a truly powerful experience. But Spotify has a brand dominance and accessibility that at this stage Clubhouse can only dream of. 

What does the future hold?

My opinion is both will have success and will develop into different niches within the live-audio space. Both are utilizing a beta approach and will pivot their various features as time goes on. 

For big time brands, podcasters and musicians I think Greenroom will bring a fantastic opportunity. That is, if it isn’t over-run by old Clubhouse names trying to mark their territory like noisy jack russell puppies. 

Clubhouse however feels more like the grassroots underdog built from the power of the heart.  Putting their users first from the beginning has paid off. They have grown into a force to be reckoned with and, for me at least, have provided space to build genuine, meaningful and long-lasting connections and friendships that I hope to carry with me for a long time to come.