Clubhouse poaches senior Netflix exec to lead global marketing

Clubhouse has named Maya Watson as head of global marketing. Watson said on LinkedIn that she is honoured and grateful to be joining "this incredible team and global community". She was previously with Netflix for four years, last helming the role of director, editorial and publishing. According to her LinkedIn, she first joined the Netflix team in 2017 as director, social media for US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Watson is knowledgeable about the media and production scene, having also worked at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network as VP, marketing and social media for more than a year. OWN is an American cable channel jointly owned by Discovery and Harpo Studios which launched in January 2011. Before that, she was with Harpo Productions, a multimedia production company founded by Winfrey, and took on roles including director, marketing and social media and senior manager, marketing.

Her appointment was announced during Clubhouse's latest townhall, which also involved the announcement of its first creator accelerator programme named Clubhouse Creator First to help aspiring creators on Clubhouse host conversations, build their audience, and monetise. The company will select 20 creators and applications close on 31 March.

The application requires creators to list the type of show they would like to develop and the type of tools most useful to them on the platform. The list of tools include brand partner and sponsor matching, post-show analytics, mentorship, monetisation and tipping, as well as polling and audience feedback. Clubhouse tested an invite-only creator pilot programme last December with over 40 Clubhouse influencers. The New York Times previously reported that the programme includes regular meetings with one of Clubhouse's founders and early access to special tools created for power users.

Led by CEO Paul Davison, Clubhouse is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week and has also introduced product updates including link sharing, language filtering and inviting new users via their mobile numbers. It has also added new tools to detect abuse on the platform, the company said in a series of tweets.

The app has become a hit among Apple users, growing from 3.5 million global downloads on 1 February to 8.1 million by 16 February, according to App Annie. Shortly after, Clubhouse said it has hired Android software developer Mopewa Ogundipe to develop an Android version of the app, CNBC reported. Ogundipe confirmed it in a tweet, saying: "If you know me, you probably know I have *opinions* about iOS only apps so I’m very excited to be joining the team to bring the party to Android."

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