Spotify acquires Betty Labs, maker of live audio app Locker Room

People walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) the morning the music streaming service Spotify begins trading stocks on the NYSE on April 3, 2018 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Spotify moves in live audio.

The company announced Tuesday that it would buy Betty Labs, the makers of the live audio social app Locker Room, which focuses on sports. The terms of the contract were not disclosed.

In the coming months, the company plans to expand Locker Room into an “enhanced live audio experience” for more of its creators and fans.

Spotify is banking on the future of live social audio with the acquisition of the company supported by Lightspeed Ventures and GV.

The focus on social audio functions became increasingly important last year with the launch of Clubhouse, an invitation-only app supported by Andreessen Horowitz and which has grown in popularity during the pandemic. The clubhouse was downloaded 12.7 million times on March 14, according to App Annie, a mobile data and analytics company.

Users flocked to the app to gather in virtual rooms and discuss everything from Bitcoin to wellness to recreate face-to-face conversations.

Now social media companies are stepping into the live audio space to capture a part of this market. Twitter entered the competition with “Spaces” and made the feature available to more users. Meanwhile, Facebook is also working on a new audio chat product, according to the New York Times. Microsoft is also reportedly interested in buying the Discord chat app for about $ 10 billion.

Spotify announced Tuesday that its acquisition will help leverage “the unprecedented data, insights and strengths of the company’s user experience to build a full range of live and on-demand offerings for users and developers around the world “.

The Betty Labs deal follows a number of Spotify acquisitions and deals over the past few years.

Spotify’s podcast library was backed by high profile deals such as the acquisition of Gimlet Media, Anchor, Parcast and The Ringer. It has also expanded its exclusive content by acquiring the rights to Joe Rogan’s podcast, and has since signed TikTok influencers Addison Rae, Kim Kardashian West, Michelle Obama, and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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