Stage Channels is a recent feature in Discord, the gaming chat network. “A special form of voice channel… where some people can speak and others can listen as the audience,” according to the description. It’s basically the defining characteristic of Clubhouse, the invite-only smartphone app that gained media attention earlier this year for a brief period of time.
Certain participants are designated as speakers in a Stage Channel, while the rest of the audience remains silent. You might compare it to livestreaming without the video or a live podcast. Or, wait a minute, it’s the tv. Isn’t it true that you used to listen to the radio? And there was a time when I didn’t.
Owing to the sudden success of Clubhouse, a smartphone app used by Silicon Valley and US media people, this feature has been sought after by social media companies in recent months. The general opinion at the time was that Clubhouse’s main feature will be replicated by any other social media company on the planet – and now Discord has responded.
The rumour that Microsoft is in negotiations to buy Discord for $10 billion (around £7.2 billion) has added to the story’s intrigue. Microsoft tried and failed to create their own streaming and community platform for gamers (RIP Mixer), so it’s understandable that they’d be interested in purchasing one that already exists.
Audio-only content appeals to me because it is easier to listen to while traveling (usually walking) than it is to watch a video. The audio is live and streamed rather than downloaded before I leave the home, which reduces the comfort.
On this Discord support page, you will learn more about how Discord’s new Stage Channels work and how to launch one.