After podcasts, Spotify enters live audio “club” by acquiring Locker Room app’s creator Betty Labs

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Sweden-based Spotify has announced the acquisition of US-based Betty Labs, the creators of Locker Room – a live audio app. “This acquisition builds on our work to create the “future formats of audio” and will accelerate Spotify’s entry into the live audio space,” says the company in a statement. 

Why acquire Betty Labs

Betty Labs, a developer of a sports trivia app, is the maker of Locker Room – a social network platform for live audio conversations.

The company first introduced Locker Room to sports fans in October 2020. And, in the coming months, Spotify will leverage its data, insights, and strength in user experience to build out a full complement of live and on-demand offerings for users and creators across the globe.

Gustav Söderström, Chief R&D Officer at Spotify, says “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. 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.”

Live audio experiences

In the near future, Spotify will evolve and expand Locker Room into an enhanced live audio experience for a wider range of creators and fans. And with this live experience, the music streaming app will be able to offer a range of sports, music, and cultural programming, as well as provide a host of interactive features that enable creators to connect with audiences in real-time.

Spotify claims that soon professional athletes, writers, musicians, songwriters, podcasters, and other global voices will have opportunities to host real-time discussions, debates, ask me anything (AMA) sessions, and more.

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About Betty Labs

Founded by Howard Akumiah, Betty Labs is a developer of a sports trivia application designed by developers, engineers, product thinkers, and sports fans that are focused on creating groundbreaking live experiences. 

Their first product, Sideline, is a live mobile game that lets viewers win money while watching sports by predicting what will happen next.

Speaking on the development, Betty Labs Founder & CEO, Howard Akumiah, says, “We are excited to join forces with Spotify and contribute to building the future of audio – we’ll invest more in our product, open the experience to Spotify’s audience, diversify our content offerings, and continue expanding the community we’ve built. With Spotify, we’ll continue to offer the best home for sports fans and use the lessons we’ve learned along the way to create the ultimate destination for live conversation around music and culture.”

A brief about Spotify and its recent developments

Launched in 2008 by Daniel Ek, and Martin Lorentzon, Spotify is a commercial music streaming service that provides restricted digital content from a range of record labels and artists.

In November 2020, Spotify acquired Megaphone, a US-based podcast technology company in a reported deal worth €198M. Together, Spotify and Megaphone offer podcast publishers the tools required to help them earn more from their work. Back then, the company had reported that in its Q3 earnings call, 22 per cent of the company’s total monthly average users engaged with podcasts. And, that the podcast revenue was reported to be up by about 100 per cent year-on-year.

In the mid of 2020, the company launched in 13 new markets across Europe – Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. And, earlier this year in February, the company launched its service in the sixth-largest music market in the world: South Korea. 

This brought the total number of markets that Spotify covers to 93, globally.

Prior to that, in February 2020, Spotify acquired The Ringer – a creator of sports, entertainment, and pop culture content.

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