Image Credit: Eric Nopanen

Amazon looks to disrupt traditional radio with planned Clubhouse competitor that will let users turn into live audio radio hosts.

We’ve got more news about Amazon’s Clubhouse competitor, apparently codenamed “Project Mike.” As noted in September when rumours first surfaced, the live audio feature will be music-focused, and now The Verge has seen a presentation that revealed that the app will closely mimic live radio shows.

Whilst Clubhouse focuses on the social media aspect of letting anyone grab the mic, Amazon’s own version will aim to make hosts feel like they’re broadcasting their own radio show. Anyone will be able to act as a radio jockey, lining up music from the Amazon Music catalogue to play on their shows. That’s potentially great news for anyone who has put their music on Amazon Music through a distributor like RouteNote.

The Verge also learned that the app will launch in the US to begin with. Amazon will apparently be looking to attract celebrities to create eye-catching content, along with smaller curators, at least initially.

The “Project Mike” app will have hashtags of trending topics, featured creators, with searchable content. The feature will be available on the app and through Amazon Music, Audible, Twitch and Alexa devices. Listeners can use Alexa to interact with shows by voice alone. And the app will be available to use in cars, which aligns it well and truly with a radio experience.

Live audio apps have been popping up all over the place since Clubhouse launched last year. The Clubhouse hype may have died down considerably, but other tech companies continue to build on their own versions. There’s Spotify Greenroom, Twitter Spaces, and Facebook Live Audio Rooms, to name a few. Clubhouse itself continues to evolve, still rolling out new features.

Besides the focus on music, there’ll be shows about comedy, pop culture and sports. Music seems a natural fit for the live audio medium, with the potential for live performances, interviews and album commentary. Q&As and AMAs on the likes of Instagram Stories are always popular, and being able to ask questions in real time would be a big draw for fans.

Exactly what shape the feature will take and when it will launch is yet to be confirmed by Amazon, but with Apple Music and other music platforms already running their own versions of radio, traditional radio stations will be looking nervously to the future.

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