Spotify is jumping into the live audio business with the acquisition of sports talk app Locker Room and its parent company Betty Labs, as Billboard reports. Locker Room, which launched in October 2020 as an app where sports fans could discuss games together, was purchased for an undisclosed sum. (The Wall Street Journal, citing a source “familiar with the transaction,” said the deal values Betty Labs around $50 million.) The streaming company plans to expand Locker Room into a service that will “offer a range of sports, music, and cultural programming, as well as a host of interactive features that enable creators to connect with audiences in real time.”
“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,” said Gustav Söderström, Chief Research & Development Officer at Spotify. “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.”
This new commitment to the emergent live audio marketplace is the latest step in Spotify’s moves towards positioning itself as an all-encompassing “audio” platform, following major acquisitions and investments in the podcasting space. Whatever Locker Room ends up evolving into, it will be up against the invitation-only audio app Clubhouse and Twitter’s recently-launched competitor, Spaces. Read the full blog post about the acquisition here.