WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Spotify would acquire Locker Room, a sports live audio app, with an estimated value of $50 million.
- The digital music firm also plans to collaborate with music and podcasting personalities to facilitate audio programming.
- The live audio industry thrived recently as social media sites established sessions that would cater to users.
In a bid to extend its reach to broader pop culture markets, Spotify will be acquiring live audio sports app Locker Room alongside its developer Betty Labs.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the acquisition ━ valued at $50 million ━ is supported by Google Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Precursor Ventures. Referring to anonymous sources, the outlet said that the value could reach up to $80 million depending on the final details of the deal.
Spotify would rebrand and reintroduce the app with a wider target on sports, music, and pop culture. Per the company, Locker Room would retain its own functionalities. Users, though, could have the option to record live sessions which they could either upload to Spotify or to podcast app Anchor.
The Swedish-based company also plans to work with music and podcasting stars as well as users with a goal to promote programming with them through facilitating album-listening parties or spinning live sets from DJs prior to uploading them as playlists. For instance, sportscasters and users may be able to listen to game analysis and podcasters could live stream Q&A sessions.
“How do you talk to many people at once has been a challenge, and this format has turned out to be very scalable,” Spotify’s research and development chief Gustav Söderström told the Journal. “You can have a few people on stage, you can raise your hand in the audience and be unmuted and ask a question, unlike on Twitter where you have everyone screaming all at once.”
“Our creators have been asking for a long time to be able to be more interactive with fans. The most effective way is to actually speak to them live,” Söderström added.
According to app research firm Sensor Tower, the Locker Room app has observed around 19,000 installs since it was launched last October. In March, the app witnessed an estimated download of 8,000, per the Journal.
For now, the app would still be available for free to users, though Spotify has expressed its intention to generate income from the Live audio.
“Maybe live is a revenue model, maybe it isn’t,” Söderström said. He also revealed that China has shown interest to pay for this service.
“It has potential, and it’s our job to explore,” he noted.
During the past year, live audio has been booming as social networking sites such as Twitter, Locker Room, Clubhouse, and Water Cooler facilitated voice-based sessions. The program became a comfort spot for sports fans who wanted to talk and gather.
Source: New York Post