Clubhouse, the live audio-chat startup, has hired 15-year NPR veteran Nina Gregory as head of news and media publishers.
Gregory most recently was senior editor on NPR’s arts desk, where she has overseen coverage of film, TV, art, design, fashion, food and culture. In her new role at Clubhouse, Gregory will be working with media brands on engaging with the Clubhouse community. She also is tasked with working on helping news organizations use Clubhouse, connecting with journalists, and developing audio training opportunities at journalism schools.
Gregory started at NPR on Christmas Eve in 2006 as an overnight editor for “Morning Edition.” Previously, she worked as a freelancer and on staff at various magazines and websites. Gregory received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in world arts and cultures, and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She teaches at the Daily Bruin at UCLA, where she worked for the paper and radio station.
Clubhouse, launched in April 2020 at the outset of the COVID pandemic, kicked off a rush into social audio among bigger companies like Facebook, Spotify and Twitter.
Since the beginning of 2021, Clubhouse’s growth rate has cooled significantly. According to researcher Apptopia, U.S. downloads of the Clubhouse app in July reached 417,513, down from roughly 1 million in January, as reported by Variety Intelligence Platform.
According to Clubhouse, user engagement on the platform continues to climb, following its release on Android and the app dropping its invitation-only status this summer. The company says it is seeing more than 700,000 chat rooms created daily (more than doubling from 300,000 in May) and that the average user is spending more than 70 minutes on the platform (up from 60 minutes in July).
Clubhouse earlier this year announced a Series C round of funding led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The startup didn’t announce the size of the round but the funding gave it a reported valuation of about $4 billion.
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