Spotify is known for its hundreds of thousands of music from both indie artists and celebrated musicians. The platform also invested in pre-recorded podcast content to attract more subscribers, and now the platform is looking to host live audio conversations.

Today, Mar. 30, the company announced that it is acquiring Betty Labs, the company behind the live sports audio app Locker Room. However, Spotify did not disclose how much it spent on Betty Labs when it purchased the company. 

Spotify to compete with Clubhouse and Discord

According to CNBC, as a result of the acquisition, the audio app Locker Room will temporarily be removed from the App Store and will relaunch in the near future on both Android and iOS under a different app name with a broader focus on culture, music, and sports content.

Spotify stated that it sees live audio as ideal for creators who want to connect with audiences in real-time, whether that is to premiere an album, host a question and answer session, or even perform.

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The chief of R&D officer at Spotify, Gustav Soderstrom, tells The Verge that Spotify will let anyone host conversations and not just the approved creators.

This means that the app will directly compete with all of the other live audio apps currently on the market, like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Discord.

Even though he says Spotify-employed creators won't be required to go live only on Spotify's app, he still thinks it will be a great complement to their existing Spotify subscribers. However, the two apps will remain separate.

Soderstrom stated that they still do not have any concrete plans in the future for the platform, as they may integrate some or even all of the features. Spotify will also experiment with different monetization features. Some chats might be free to tune into while others are paid.

The live audio from the app will then become a direct funnel to Spotify's podcasting ecosystem. Soderstrom stated that people already record their Clubhouse chats and Twitter Spaces chats and upload them as MP3 files to Anchor, which is Spotify's podcast creation and hosting software.

Soderstrom stated that they might want to make that process more seamless. It is possible that Spotify will allow people to natively record the chats and tap a button to distribute them directly to the platform.

The rise of audio content

Currently, audio content has become very popular in the tech space because the biggest names in the sector look to invest in prer-ecorded podcast content as well as live audio.

Recently, Amazon acquired podcast network Wondery in 2020. Meanwhile, Clubhouse and Twitter Space, which was launched in 2020, continues to thrive and attract subscribers, as per Variety.

Even Facebook is said to be looking to create a live audio feature. Spotify, even though it is mostly focused on music and podcasts, is now showing that companies can have access to both worlds.

Spotify wants to prove that live audio recording can grow and it can help the podcasting catalog on the platform and also promote the music in its library. Spotify is ready to show that it is not limited to just one format.

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Written by Sieeka Khan

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