Spotify’s decision to shut down its live audio app, Spotify Live, has raised questions about the future of the format. The music streaming service was one of many platforms to jump on the live audio trend after Clubhouse took the world by storm during the pandemic. However, Facebook, Reddit, and now Spotify have all struggled to sustain the format. The question remains: Does live audio have a lifeline?
Spotify’s Trials and Errors in Live Audio
As part of its major push into audio, Spotify acquired Betty Labs, the creator of sports-focused live audio app Locker Room, for more than $60 million in 2021. The company rebranded Locker Room as Spotify Greenroom and then as Spotify Live, bringing on well-known podcast hosts to build appeal. While these investments propelled Spotify to become one of the top podcast platforms, it is now implementing layoffs and podcast show cancellations amid the economic downturn. With Spotify Live’s measly 670,000 downloads, it is unsurprising to see Spotify shut it down.
Although live audio may not be a viable standalone product, it still holds significant value as a feature within a larger platform. While Spotify Live is no longer available as a separate app, the company plans to incorporate live audio into their platform where it can be used to facilitate artist-fan interactions, such as hosting listening parties. This approach makes sense because it addresses an existing need and provides live audio users with a sense of community and shared experience.
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