Watch out, Clubhouse, Spotify is entering the social audio app space.

On Spotify’s Q4 investor call last month, Chairman & CEO Daniel Ek explained that the music streaming company is “very interested in” the idea of adding social features to the service, and that the company “obviously pay[s] close attention to everything that’s happening in markets around the world and new developments in audio”.

Today, Spotify has announced its entrance into the social audio business in a big way, via the acquisition of Betty Labs, the creators of Locker Room, a sports-focused, live talk app.

Spotify says that this acquisition “builds on its work to create the ‘future formats of audio’ and will accelerate Spotify’s entry into the live audio space”.

Last month on SPOT’s Q4 investor call, Ek was asked when the company plans on adding social features to its platform and the analyst asking him this question specifically noted that “apps like Clubhouse could have an interesting entry” here.

The popular “drop-in audio chat” app Clubhouse is of course based around voice and audio rather than visual posts, and as noted by MBW at the time, the implementation of an audio-centric social tool on Spotify would be an interesting development on its journey to becoming the world’s No.1 audio platform.

Enter Locker Room. Spotify says that in the coming months, the app will be expanded into an enhanced live audio experience for a wider range of creators and fans.

Through this “new live experience”, Spotify says that it will offer a range of sports, music, and cultural programming, as well as interactive features that enable creators to connect with audiences in real time.

“We’ll give professional athletes, writers, musicians, songwriters, podcasters, and other global voices opportunities to host real-time discussions, debates, ask me anything (AMA) sessions, and more,” says SPOT.

Betty Labs is described as by Spotify as a “forward-leaning team of developers, engineers, product thinkers, and sports fans focused on creating groundbreaking live experiences”.

The company, which was initially backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, and more recently by GV and Precursor Ventures, first introduced Locker Room to sports fans in October 2020.

Looking ahead, Spotify says that it will leverage the company’s  “unparalleled 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”.

“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.”

Gustav Söderström, Spotify

Gustav Söderström, Chief Research & Development Officer at Spotify, said: “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.”

“We are excited to join forces with Spotify and contribute to building the future of audio.”

 Howard Akumiah, Betty Labs

Betty Labs Founder and CEO Howard Akumiah, added: “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.”

 Music Business Worldwide