spotify greenroom

Spotify acquired startup Betty Labs in March, attracted by its Clubhouse-style live audio app Locker Room, which was aimed at sports fans.

The following month, CEO Daniel Ek announced that Locker Room would be rebranded and relaunched as Spotify Greenroom, focusing on music and culture as well as sport. That relaunch is happening today.

“We’re making Spotify Greenroom available for the first time in its new form, available on iOS and Android in over 135 markets around the world,” announced Spotify in a blog post.

People will now be able to sign in to Greenroom using their Spotify account, and host or take part in the app’s live rooms. Spotify is also promising a new ‘onboarding’ experience to teach people how to use the app and find rooms that they’re interested in.

We’ve been trying the app out this afternoon. The signup process encourages people to use their real name, then presents them with a screen of potential interests in categories including entertainment, music, football, sports, gaming, news and knowledge, lifestyle, and hobbies and interests. The music options include various genres, but also music production, artist interviews, concerts and festivals, music business, and lyrics and songwriting.

They are then presented with a list of potential people and groups to follow (yes, CEO Daniel Ek is one of the people you can find through searching) and asked to agree to follow the app’s rules: no hate content, incitement or glorification of violence, promoting self-harm, harassing other users or posting sexually explicit content among them.

Discussions can be recorded, and there will be “chat controls to ensure the best possible experience” – a toxicity-battling challenge that’s as important for social audio apps as it is for video services and other social media.

Another trend common across those sectors is creator funds: money funnelled into encouraging people to create exclusive content (or shows in this case) for each platform. Spotify is doing that too, with a ‘Spotify Creator Fund‘ opening later in the summer, although people can sign up now to get more information closer to the launch.

This is hardly a minimum viable product: Locker Room launched in October 2020, so Spotify Greenroom isn’t starting from scratch. However, there’s a strong sense of more to come in the company’s announcement today.

“The Greenroom offering will continue to evolve as we learn more about what creators and listeners want from their live audio experience. We’ll also bring exciting new programming to the platform spanning music, culture, and entertainment topics in addition to the sports content Locker Room has been known for,” explained Spotify.

“We believe Spotify has an opportunity not only to enable live broadcasts, but to aid discovery, drive consumption, and accelerate growth of the live category overall. Today’s app unveiling is our opportunity to begin laying the foundation for the exciting roster of content and capabilities Spotify has in store in our venture into live audio.”

For now, Spotify Greenroom is a standalone app, with the streaming service yet to announce details of how and when (or even whether) it will be integrated into Spotify’s mobile and desktop apps, as well as its versions for consoles, smart speakers and other devices.

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