Spotify delves into live audio with purchase of Clubhouse rival Betty Labs

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 specialises 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.

Spotify logo

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

(Also read: How audio chatrooms like Clubhouse are tapping anew into the age-old appeal of the human voice)

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.



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