Spotify delves into live audio with purchase of Clubhouse rival

Spotify is expanding into non-musical audio
Spotify is expanding into non-musical audio Lionel BONAVENTURE AFP/File
Advertising

New York (AFP)

Spotify announced Tuesday it had acquired "live audio" specialist Betty Labs to serve as a development vehicle in the booming sector.

Following in the footsteps of podcasts, "live audio" -- which offers broadcasts, talks and conversations between internet users -- has taken off in recent years, driven by the app Clubhouse.

Launched in 2018, Betty Labs specializes in the niche, and in October 2018 launched the app Locker Room, which hosts live audio exchanges about sports.

Spotify said Tuesday it will develop Locker Room into a platform open to "a wider range of creators and fans," according to a statement.

Among Betty Labs' initial investors is GV, the private equity arm of Google parent company Alphabet.

In late February, Spotify confirmed its ambitions to expand into non-musical audio.

The group has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build an integrated podcast offering an advertising interface and exclusive content.

Several US media outlets have reported that Facebook is working on an offering similar to Clubhouse. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is also working on his own version, called Fireside.

The Discord platform -- which launched in 2015 -- is currently valued at about $7 billion.