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Spotify to Buy Live-Media App Locker Room, Rival to Clubhouse

Spotify plans to get into the live-audio space by acquiring the parent of the Locker Room app, a competitor of Clubhouse.

Spotify  (SPOT) - Get Spotify Technology S.A. Report said on Tuesday that it planned to buy Betty Labs, the company behind the audio social app Locker Room, media reports say.

Though terms weren't disclosed, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones that Betty Labs was valued at about $50 million. 

The company has been backed by several firms, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Google  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report Ventures and Precursor Ventures

“Betty Labs raised $9.3 million in seed funding led by [Google Ventures],” when Locker Room launched in October 2020, the National Post reported.

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Following in step with the growing popularity of live-audio platforms such as Clubhouse, Sweden-based Spotify is aiming to “rebrand and relaunch [Locker Room] with a broader focus across sports, music, and pop culture,” Dow Jones reported.

“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 Dow Jones.

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“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  (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report, where you have everyone screaming all at once,” he said.

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Within Spotify, Locker Room will remain a stand-alone platform, but the incoming parent plans to add the ability to “archive conversations for later consumption,” Bloomberg News reported.

“Users will be able to record live sessions and upload them to Spotify or podcasting platform Anchor and distribute them broadly,” Dow Jones added.

This is a feature that is notably missing from Clubhouse, which is backed by the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. The invite-only iOS app “has been downloaded 12.7 million times as of March 14,” CNBC reported.

Locker Room has been downloaded 19,000 times, with 8,000 installs in March, Dow Jones said.

At last check Spotify shares were trading 0.2% higher at $253.15.