Spotify brings live audio broadcasts to its main app, rebrands companion app Greenroom as “Spotify Live” – TechCrunch


As a previous report suggested, Spotify today announced that it will integrate the live audio capabilities of its companion app, Spotify Greenroom, into the main Spotify streaming app. Greenroom will also be rebranded as “Spotify Live” as part of these changes. At launch, the main Spotify app will only offer live content from select original programming, while the standalone Spotify Live app will continue to allow independent creators to go live.

Although both apps now offer live content, there will be some differences, the company told TechCrunch.

Spotify Live will continue to function as a Greenroom, allowing creators to interact with their audiences in real time and serving as a creative mechanism for hosts. But live listening in the main Spotify app will not support interactive features, such as audience questions. Instead, it offers creators the opportunity to reach a wider audience of Spotify’s 406 million global listeners.

At this time, only original Spotify programming will be streamed live in the main app, the company noted.

Spotify acquired the app that would become Greenroom in March 2021 with its $62 million purchase of startup Betty Labs. Originally known as Locker Room, the app focused on the intersection of live audio with sports content. Spotify quickly renamed and rebranded the app, then introduced it as Greenroom in June 2021. In the fall, the company was rolling out weekly live shows on Greenroom that capitalized on existing playlists and programming. popular Spotify, hoping to drive consumer adoption of its live audio service. He has also signed exclusive live audio deals, like the one with Complex Networks.

But Greenroom failed to gain traction in a market that was already moving away from the live audio trend.

According to data from smart app company Sensor Tower, Greenroom saw 275,000 downloads globally after the acquisition on Apple’s App Store. Including the time it was known as Locker Room, it had seen a total of 295,000 iOS installs, the company noted. In other words, around 93% of the app’s lifetime installs on iOS were made by Spotify. On Android, the app is still in early access, but the Play Store notes that it tops 500,000 installs. Combined with iOS, that means the app has at least 775,000 installs. But given that Spotify has hundreds of millions of listeners, this indicates that very few users, in percentage, have tried Greenroom. (Spotify declined to share its own numbers on Greenroom adoption.)

Spotify’s entry into the live audio market initially seemed a natural fit for the company, which had invested heavily in podcasts and related technology in recent years, including the podcast creation platform Anchor. Meanwhile, the pandemic had led to increased use of new audio-streaming apps, like Clubhouse and others, where creators could hop in anytime to broadcast live to audiences or engage in social-based networks. on audio. There was an obvious use case for Spotify where podcast creators had established fanbases who would likely want to chat audio with hosts in real time.

But as pandemic lockdowns and mask mandates eased and real-world live events returned, consumer adoption of standalone audio apps like Clubhouse declined in key markets, including United States.

Spotify’s app may have also struggled due to its branding. “Greenroom”, implies a place where you would hang out before a show or event, but the app was meant to showcase the live shows themselves – not just a backchannel to them. The name change to Spotify Live makes a lot more sense.

As Spotify tells us, the new name “will allow for better discoverability.” Presumably, this includes the App Store, where an app’s title is important for ranking search results.

Spotify says it will debut the new live audio content in the main app highlighting top creators through events and live broadcasts. It will begin today with a live edit of “Off the Record with DJ Akademiks” which, like the other live shows, can be found on the creator’s artist page in the app. If you just want to listen live, you can stream the show from the Spotify app. But if you also want to comment and interact with other listeners in real time, you can upgrade to Spotify Live.

Other upcoming live shows include the following:

  • Swedish House Mafia Paradise Again Album Release Party with Spotify Live From the Desert (April 15): Fans in select markets will be able to listen to the DJ set live on the Swedish House Mafia artist page as Spotify celebrates their reunion and the release of their new album, Paradise Again.
  • After Hours with Alex Cooper (April 13, 10 p.m. EST): Host of the Spotify Exclusive “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Alex Cooper will now be live with an evening talk show, which will also be available weekly to stream on demand.
  • King of the Court with Hasan Minhaj (May): Hasan Minhaj (aka Batman’s Last Riddler) will host a show starting in May, during the NBA Conference Finals, where he’ll break down all the action, bringing his knowledge of the game to fellow fans, with help special guests. Spotify said more details would come as the NBA playoffs begin.
  • Livestream of DJ Akademiks with guest Waka Flocka Flame (April 12, 12 p.m. EST): DJ Akademiks’ podcast, “Off the Record with DJ Akademiks” will go live with a show featuring special guest Waka Flocka Flame. More live shows will be announced in the future.
  • Tana’s Toxic Advice with Tana Mongeau (April 13, 9 p.m. EST): Online influencer Tana Mongeau’s live broadcast will give the creator the chance to speak directly to fans. The show will be recorded for later listening on demand.

Picture credits: Spotify

Spotify says its lineup of existing live shows will also stream in the Spotify app, including:

  • Lorem Life with Dev Lemons and Max Motley
  • Taylor speaks with Ellie Schnitt
  • Money moves with Lauren Simmons
  • A gay in life with spouses Garrett Clayton and Blake Knight
  • The cinephile with Jon Gabrus

In total, Spotify has over 50 separate shows that are expected to go live on Spotify after launch, with some being one-time events and others recurring or limited series. The company will also continue to develop new shows in the future.

Spotify will also introduce a new “hub” in its app which will showcase upcoming live streams for easy access.

Picture credits: Spotify

Embedding live content into Spotify’s flagship streaming app is arguably a better idea for capitalizing on creators’ existing fanbases than siloing live broadcasts into a separate app experience. It also mirrors live audio products that have seen some success, like Twitter Spaces, which lives in the main Twitter app but still displays to be saved for later publication as podcasts.

While Spotify notes that live broadcasts will focus on its original programming, it does not control whether these are then turned into broadcasts for on-demand listening. It will ultimately depend on the type of content and the wishes of the creators, the company told us. And Spotify has yet to determine whether it will ever bring Spotify Live’s interactive features to the main app.

The new live broadcasts are rolling out starting today for Spotify users worldwide.

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