Earlier this month, Twitter officially enabled users with 600 or more followers to begin hosting live-audio conversations via Spaces. Now, it’s come to light that the 15-year-old social-media platform will take a 20 percent cut of ticketed Spaces’ revenue – on top of iOS and Android app fees.
The long-awaited rollout of Spaces is the latest in a series of moves from platforms (social media and otherwise) that are looking to replicate the success of Clubhouse, which Twitter reportedly considered purchasing for $4 billion.
Facebook is testing a Clubhouse clone called Hotline, for instance, with Live Audio Rooms slated to debut sometime this summer. Plus, Spotify in late March acquired Clubhouse competitor Locker Room, highlighting plans to expand the roughly seven-month-old service into “an enhanced live audio experience,” whereas Arabic streaming giant Anghami recently launched Live Radio.
And in terms of the financial and logistical specifics associated with Twitter’s ticketed Spaces, outlets including Android Central have relayed that the company will take a 20 percent cut of all income. However, the San Francisco-based business will draw this commission only after subtracting Google’s considerable Play Store fee and Apple’s much-debated App Store commission, both of which are 30 percent.
As an aside, Google charges developers 15 percent on their first $1 million per year, while Apple charges developers the reduced 15 percent rate only if they earned under $1 million across the prior calendar year.
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see how the point impacts ticketed Spaces creators and users, particularly with regard to what they feel comfortable charging and paying for live-audio experiences, respectively. Also worth bearing in mind are today’s many available podcasts, the above-noted live-audio offerings from other companies, and the reemergence of crowd-based entertainment.
Twitter will reportedly begin accepting applications from users who wish to charge for access to Spaces happenings, with a stateside pilot program set to precede a wider launch. Additionally, prospective ticketed-Spaces creators will reportedly need to have hosted at least three Spaces events during the preceding 30 days, be age 18 or over, boast 1,000 or more Twitter followers, and register with Jack Dorsey’s Square to receive compensation.
Though Twitter’s previously mentioned Clubhouse-buyout talks fell through, the latter entity – which only became available to fans in April of 2020 – kicked off 2021 by raising a reported $100 million at a $1 billion valuation. Moreover, Clubhouse (which had been available solely on iOS devices) this month rolled out an Android app and revealed that it would fund 50 audio shows (in the form of a $5,000-per-month stipend for three months) via its Creators First Program.