Business News Deals Digital

Spotify buys live-audio app Locker Room

By | Published on Wednesday 31 March 2021


Spotify has bought Betty Labs, the creator of the Locker Room app that facilitates online chatter about sporty nonsense. The aim is to relaunch said app so that it can facilitate online chatter about other nonsense too. You know, music nonsense. Cultural nonsense. Miscellaneous nonsense.

Anyone with any skills whatsoever in nonsense will be able to lead such chatter on the relaunched app. You can call that a straight rip-off of the recently buzzy live audio app Clubhouse if you want. But wasn’t Discord basically there first? OK, maybe Clubhouse is an evolution of Discord. But then, maybe all new Locker Room will be an evolution of Clubhouse. Shall we just agree that someone or something is being ripped off here? Radio phone-ins perhaps.

“During Spotify’s first-ever Stream On event last month, we explored the journey of creation, the promise of interactivity, and the investments we’re making to further unlock audio’s potential”, said Spotify yesterday. “Today, we are announcing that Spotify has acquired Betty Labs, the creators of Locker Room, a live audio app that’s changing the way insiders and fans talk about sports. This acquisition builds on our work to create the ‘future formats of audio’ and will accelerate Spotify’s entry into the live audio space”.

Lovely stuff. At least the livestreaming of chatter and nonsense doesn’t come with any of the licensing headaches of livestreaming music. Though, if those licensing challenges could be met, maybe Spotify could mash together its livestreamed chatter platform with a livestreamed music service. You know, to replicate that wonderful gig-going experience where you end up next to people who talk all the way through the show. Because, this far into lockdown, I’m starting to miss that too.

“Creators and fans have been asking for live formats on Spotify, and we’re excited that soon, we’ll make them available to hundreds of millions of listeners and millions of creators on our platform”, says Gustav Söderström, Chief Research & Development Officer at Spotify, about the company’s latest start-up purchase. “The world already turns to us for music, podcasts, and other unique audio experiences, and this new live audio experience is a powerful complement that will enhance and extend the on-demand experience we provide today”.