locker room facelift
Spotify’s live audio app, Greenroom, formally launched today on iOS and Android, marking the company’s first real attempt at building a social media platform. The social audio app, which is similar to Clubhouse, allows users to host live conversations about sports, music and culture.
Today’s launch doesn’t come with a marquee creator announcement or specific event plans, but instead, the company is taking this opportunity to encourage people to sign up and find out how they want to use the app. Some of its core functionality, a person close to the position says, will eventually make its way to the actual Spotify app, so the team will monitor what happens in Greenroom.
The app is built on Locker Room, created by Betty Labs and acquired by Spotify in March. That app focused solely on sports content, so users who have been logged on from the beginning will have to get used to watching more than just Sports Talk, which is the biggest change. Other noticeable changes to the app are mostly visual. It now has a Spotify green and black color scheme, as well as a new logo and font. In terms of functionality, it now also has native recording, which will allow users to save their shows and distribute them as podcasts. (Of course, Spotify owns Anchor, so one can easily imagine that the show is ultimately basically being moved to production software for further editing and publication.)
Users can sign up with their Spotify login, although this is not required to use the app. The initial signup flow will also allow users to select their interests from a wide range of topics such as music genres and sports teams.
Additionally, Spotify is announcing a creators fund, though details are sparse. People on the app will be paid based on how popular their rooms are and their engagement, a source close to the situation says, and exclusive deals with creators are also in the works, with announcements coming over the summer. It’s unclear how much money Spotify will spend wooing creators to the app, but interested users can sign up for more info. Here.
Every tech company now seems to be taking an interest in social audio, something that wasn’t widely present until March 2020, when Clubhouse launched. Since then, Twitter has launched Spaces, Facebook has hosted its first Live Rooms, and other companies like Slack, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Discord have started building similar products. Spotify may have the best chance at making social audio a real part of its business, simply because audio is already its full-time thing. But getting people to connect live and spend time in one app is a tough sell, and will require top-tier programming, especially when it competes with all other apps.