Podcast app

Mark Cuban’s Fireside Podcast App Is Here To Challenge Clubhouse – How It’s Different


Mark Cuban and Falon Fatemi’s latest venture is, according to Cuban’s on-site profile, “the future of podcasting.” There’s no shortage of apps that have made such claims in the past, but The Verge has explored what Fireside brings to the table, and it sure looks like it could shake things up.

Currently in beta on iOS and populated mostly by podcasters and VC testers, it looks like this is what you’d get if you crossed Clubhouse’s live chat platform with a podcast distribution platform. like Anchor (which was purchased by Spotify in 2019).

Like Clubhouse, these are live conversations where listeners can go to listen. Although audience members cannot directly contribute unless invited to join the stage, they can respond to what is said with emoji, comments, and “claps,” which are designed to help assess the performance. public reaction in the absence of physical proximity. As The Verge says, this audience participation seems to be the main point of differentiation with Clubhouse, and users can type in comments or questions without being directly involved in the conversation for a more social experience.

Past recordings are kept for posterity and can be viewed at any time. Here, the creator can highlight key elements of the conversation that can easily be ignored, and you can see who is speaking via an avatar that appears. Fairly neatly, moderators are hammered out, as pictured below.

Fireside podcasting app

(Image credit: Fireside / The Verge)

Blurring the line between this and podcasts is introductory music that automatically greets people into every room, although apparently at this point it sounds a lot more shocking than a fully edited podcast.

As for Anchor’s comparisons, the app’s creators have apparently heard that Fireside will let them distribute their recordings via RSS feeds to all the usual haunts, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Whether this is separate enough from existing solutions to thrive is an open question, and it is entirely possible that Clubhouse’s sudden success was the product of unique circumstances and happenstance. It’s hard to imagine the app taking off the same way if the world weren’t deprived of real-world events thanks to pandemic restrictions, and if there weren’t many high-profile appearances. ‘Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg.

Still, it would be foolish to exclude anything from Cuba and Fatemi, especially when podcasts are gaining popularity all the time. It will be interesting to see how things develop when the app leaves beta and opens to everyone.


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