Proposal: Gate Clubhouse Rooms using Creator Coins

Overview of the problem
Clubhouse creators have difficulty monetizing the time and energy they put into growing their audience. The platform’s infrastructure only allows for donations and doesn’t give creators the power to monetize their content.

Rally creators are often faced with a challenge: convincing their fans (who are often not as well versed in the crypto space) to pay cash for a digital coin when most other creators offer them physical goods (merch, limited edition items, etc).

The Solution
Gating Clubhouse rooms with creator coins. This lets creators monetize their rooms and incentivizes fans to buy their coins and hold them over a long time frame.

An Example

  • Jeremiah Owyang (JOW) creates a room with paidrooms.ch. The topic is “Come pitch your startups” - he’ll offer feedback on startup pitches and will potentially keep in touch with the founders if he hears a good pitch.
  • He sets the minimum number of coins held to join the room to 10.
  • Founders who see the asymmetric upside in attending his room buy 10 coins and sign up.
  • The founders who attended can choose to sell their coins afterward, but recognize that Jeremiah will be hosting more gated rooms in the future and since they gained a ton of value from the session, will hold onto them.

Since the rooms are gated, fewer people attend overall compared to average rooms, which makes the setting more intimate. Often there are journalists or unwelcomed guests in public rooms, but with gated ones, the host knows that each attendee is one of their supporters, so they are more open and authentic in conversation.

Initial Stats
Here are a few stats so far:
      Views (home) = 5986
      Rooms started = 231 (room info was filled out but the user did not sign up)
      Rooms created = 56 (user signed up and the room was created successfully)
      Rooms that went live = 17

We’re hoping that with a bit of funding and support from the Rally community, we can get this in the hands of more creators.

Future Plans
We want to help creators understand their core audience and engage with their top supporters. The platform currently lets creators make rooms, track payments, send their attendees SMS messages, and partner with co-hosts. We plan on building out more Rally functionality within the platform, like being able to purchase rooms with creator coins and give live donations. We also plan on building out a robust set of analytics so that creators can track their top supporters and the rooms that are most engaging. With enough data from different types of creators, we can start making automated suggestions on room types and their pricing.

Funding

  • The cost of hosting the platform is ~$130/mo
  • The cost of paying our engineer is ~$50/hr. With big changes being made to the platform over the next month he will be working ~130hrs. Those updates include adding the ability to purchase access to a room with creator coins (as opposed to how gating functions currently with a minimum required coin count) and implementing the ability for audience members to give donations and get rewards live (i.e being brought up to the stage).
  • Afterward, we would just do maintenance and update the platform based on feedback from Rally creators. This would be in the ball-park of ~40hrs of engineering work for the month.

Total cost for the next two months = 130x2 + 50x120 + 50x40 = $8760 in RLY

These next two months will be a recursive process of approximating PMF with the help of feedback from creators. We will be closely monitoring their usage and any friction points they experience while using the platform. We will also be getting input on which additions would be most useful to implement (i.e. room analytics, RLY donation sounds, etc).

The Impact on Rally
There are 26 active Rally creators Clubhouse. Many of them own large clubs or are influential members of large clubs (Wellness Club (19.4K), Talk Club (139K), Human Behaviour (503K), Womxn in Business Club (320K), Startup Club (481K), Cash in your story (25.4K), etc).
Let’s assume each creator hosts 1 room per week and each room gets an average of 100 attendees.
Let’s also assume 10% of their audience would engage with gated rooms.
      26 creators * 8 weeks * 10 attendees = 2080 attendees
Let’s also assume that on average, attendees must buy 10 coins to join these rooms.
      2080 attendees * 10 coins = 20800 coins
Based on today’s coin prices, the average creator coin for these 26 creators is ~$5.50.
      20800 coins * $5.50 = $114400

We also believe that the network effects of introducing 2080 people to Rally could be much larger, as they might be inclined to purchase coins from other creators on the platform or tell their friends about Rally. Since that is difficult to quantify, we won’t include it in the calculation, but it could have ripple effects on the coin valuations of other creators.

3 Likes

Hi all, this is an important tool to help creators to monetize their followings and build a community on Clubhouse.

Of course, fans can use Paidrooms too, it’s not just limited to Creators, so it would also help to increase the reach and value of Rally.

Clubhouse creators are clamouring for ways to monetize, tips isn’t the most effective way in many of the cases. Paidrooms will help club owners build a demand for their coin.

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WOAH!!

It’s crazy to look back to the first meeting we had after Jess intro’d us, and then to where you are now, in just a few weeks!

You guys killed it! I’m super impressed with your passion, drive, professionalism, everything!

I see the value in this - I see the value in you guys - I want to support that… Please let me know where to send the 10,000 $RLY or Creator Coins :slight_smile:

this is on me, not on behalf of the community

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I think this is probably a good idea, but I would suggest that part of the fee require that at least 10 of the creators you mentioned who make use of this platform each donate 100 RLY and the community fund the rest. The reason I suggest that is because I have never used and would never use the platform (just not interested in voice rooms, personally), and so I am not really qualified to say “This is a good idea.” However, if those who actively use it are willing to partly support it with their own money, that would pretty strongly say that it’s worth doing for sure.

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This is an awesome proposal. It has been amazing to interact with Luke and Ben and support them.
The Social Audio space is certainly exploding and several of the creators on Rally have a significant presence on Clubhouse. paidrooms.ch offers a way for those creators to build a solid community and integrate their coins in an effective manner.

By supporting the team with this grant, the team can focus on building out additional features and scaling the product so current and future creators that use Clubhouse as a channel to engage with their community can effectively use their coins.

This proposal has my support.

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This is awesome! A couple questions / thoughts.

  1. Why might creators preference clubhouse to say private channels on Discord? Is it mostly where they have the audience today?
  2. If the main use case is creators with an existing large audience on Clubhouse and monetizing that audience then presumably most of the initial value comes from new community members (those buying their coin). How might onboarding work for those users so that when they realize there is a conversation about to start they can join?
    I know, sounds a bit silly but in the example, the avg cost to join would be ~$55 (10 coin x $5.5 avg cost). If as an existing follower I want to join, I would have to buy ETH --> swap to RLY --> swap to creator coin. At each step, it could take ~10 minutes to process and, more importantly imo, cost significantly on gas. At the time of writing this that journey would probably cost >$200 in gas to have it completed in any semi-reasonable time period.
    Might there be a way for the creator to accept a fiat payment and then send the coin to the user to somewhat quickly hack the onboarding journey? Admittedly there would be less trust in that exchange and the user would have to have a wallet setup but that seems, personally, more accessible to the majority of users --> “I pay x, you send me y. y gives me access to z and other benefits including selling”.

Ofc some users will do the longer journey and those who already have ETH/RLY, especially if they see long term value in the community, as you mentioned - however that creator would have to nail that use case - “why is there value in being a member of my community” to have a significant number of other users do that.

1 Like

I think asking for a donation on the side of creators would be a great way to gauge interest in the product! As it stands, there is not “paid” version of the product, so maybe it’s worth having creators who use it donate a certain amount of RLY to the community fund for every room they make or on some recurring basis. Thanks for the feedback!

Hey Colin! Here are a couple quick thoughts:

  1. Clubhouse is where a significant part of their audience is. Discord is another way to monetize live rooms, but there is much more friction on both the creator and attendee side. Paidrooms is useful because it taps directly into existing clubhouse users and removes 90% of the friction when monetizing live conversations.
  2. You make a really good point here, which is that building out a low friction onboarding process should be prioritized given that the core value prop for Rally to fund this project is to acquire more users. When I was first introduced to the Rally platform, I was able to buy $RLY with my credit card. I could be mistaken, but it seems like there is an existing infrastructure for buying $RLY with cash. If not, we have stripe baked into paidrooms and can process credit card payments, so we could have the creator send the attendee coins automatically through the api (with confirmation email) after they pay. Generally though, the point of prioritizing the onboarding flow is a good one and that’s something we will be doing over the coming weeks.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  1. got it make sense; I have an Android so I only recently got access to Clubhouse and am still getting used to it

  2. I think Rally no longer has the ability to buy $RLY with a credit card… or at least I can’t seem to find it. However, it seems like you can buy up to $200 USD of a creator coin with a credit card - tbh I should have done that and swapped to RLY vs going through ETH. Seems like as long as the payment gate is <$200 USD it should be supported :slight_smile:

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You can buy up to $200 worth of a creator coin via a single credit card transaction. Just go to the page for the coin you want to buy and click Buy $COIN at the top and it will let you pay with credit card.

3 Likes

I like the initiative and potential CH solution this might offer, also opening up Rally to non-crypto minded audience (which can easily be facilitated indeed with the creditcard payment process).

As said above as well, not a CH user either, so personally cannot judge if this is needed from a creator perspective.

My 2 concerns:

  1. Problem <> Solution

Do the creators themselves also feel or express explicitly that they have a problem / is it validated?

To validate this and get direct commitment, I do like @mrq02’s suggestion to have 10 of these creators each chip-in 100RLY. It’s not even about the amount in my opinion, rather on the validation of the problem & commitment to make sure it will be used as their solution as well in the end. (@PlatformProAlex just awesome you’d directly want to fund it on your own behalf :grinning:, I’d be even more enthousiastic if 10 or at least several Rally Creator’s give their buy-in).

  1. Hours needed / hourly rate

Do you think 130 hours will cover everything that is needed to develop, test & bug-fix? As it doesn’t seem too be that many hours and in my own agency experience all too often have seen projects gone 2x/3x exceeding estimated hours.

Is the hourly rate of $50 feasible? Seems low to me to hire development capabilities, or is it resources on your own payroll?

Based on the above I am in favor of supporting this initiative.

2 Likes

This is an interesting idea! I’m going to learn more about the way the Clubhouse platform works in terms of creating rooms and inviting / restricting attendance.

What I really like about Mintgate’s similar proposal is that it provided a platform agnostic tool that creators could use to gate content. Is this a tool that could be used similar to what Mintgate proposed, in that you could gate any link? Or is there something about the tool that restricts this to Clubhouse?

My feedback here would be the same as to Mintgate’s proposal. Looking at what Rally did in supporting Jauz or Cloth with grants to develop tools that integrate with Creator Coins…is to support (fund) the development of the product, and then allow creators to pay for the ongoing maintenance/use. If that’s not feasible to get the project off the ground, then I believe Rally would fund reasonable costs to trial the project for 3 months or so.

My thinking (and these are only my opinions!) is that tools used by a subset of the network should generally be sustained by that subset. If this proves valuable to Creators that use clubhouse, then I’d expect them to be happy to pay some amount for a useful tool that adds value to their offerings. And, even better is that if it turns out that more and more Creators take on the tool or you expand the use cases beyond Clubhouse, then those running the project (you) will benefit much more, and will have stronger incentives to add features and improve the product than if Rally were to simply fund ongoing maintenance.

Tl;dr For this low cost of something like 10k RLY(give yourselves some breathing room) and given what you’ve already built, I’d definitely support giving this a trial run for 2 months. May want to budget in 3 months since time flies. I’d also strongly encourage you to think about ways to monetize the product(saw some ideas in the responses) independently of funding from the Rally community by expanding the utility of gating content beyond Clubhouse rooms. You should reach out to Mintgate, if you haven’t already connected with them through the dev community.

Good luck! - Grand

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Thank you so much, Grand for the mention! This is a great use case for token gating, and we have talked to Luke of the Gensight team (and who wrote this proposal) here!

I will follow up with questions/comments on a separate post so you don’t get spammed!

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You have gotten a lot of amazing traction thus far, Luke! Congratulations!

  1. With growing interest in token gating, is there a possibility of ever making this open-source? We’re working on a similar solution for any web content and more community developers are now interested in token gating. I wonder if any community dev makes their token gating solution project, if it would impact your future plans or monetization?

  2. You mentioned that there is a risk that the success of the platform would depend on Clubhouse. Are there any plans to create your own frontend of a Clubhouse-like room that includes features that Rally creators are not getting from Clubhouse? Would love to see how you can bridge out even more than this initial product.

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Hi Markovic, thanks for the feedback! To answer your concerns:

  1. I am definitely in favor of doing something like this where we get Rally creators to donate some amount of RLY to the community treasury.
  2. Since I’ll be the one developing the project, the cost of engineering isn’t nearly as high as if we were outsourcing this. We don’t want to use RLY from treasury unnecessarily, so the hourly rate and estimated time to complete the project are on the lower end. We just love working with rally creators and jamming on new features that help them establish more sustainable monetization channels.

Thanks for your support!

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Hi Jennifer! To answer your questions:

  1. We haven’t explored making the project open source yet, but we’re definitely not opposed to it. We could jam sometime on which parts of the platform you would like to see made open-source. There’s not plans for competition between paidrooms and other projects being developed within the Rally community and we do not foresee building out content gating functionality across other platforms. I haven’t met anyone in the community who’s working on token gating clubhouse rooms, but if someone does build a similar product, we’ll be open to working with them!
  2. That’s an interesting idea, would be especially cool if we can access the agora api and have the rally creators use a custom interface designed for their use cases. Regardless, we’re semi-dependant on Clubhouse’s API when creating and managing paid rooms. We’re constantly on the lookout for alternatives we can use to be less dependant on the platform.
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This is really great feedback, thanks Grand! Right now, the tool only gates clubhouse rooms and doesn’t allow for any other live audio chat gating. We’re exploring different ways to monetize the platform (i.e. 5 RLY for each room created, 50RLY/mo per creator, etc.) and will be getting feedback from some of our beta testers (Jason, Joseph, Jeremiah, etc) on which structure aligns our incentives and the incentives of creators in the best way. I am in favor of making this platform independently funded by creators, but I think given some of the positive feedback we’ve gotten on our MVP and that we have so much room to grow the platform, a relatively small amount of initial capital to get the platform in a great state is ideal. We plan on funding this project ourselves after the trial period and relying on capital from power users of the platform. This will give us a sense of how much value the fully built platform adds to rally creators. Thanks for the insightful feedback!

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Thanks for clarifying Luke!