With the acquisition of Locker Room (a popular platform for chatter about sports news) in March, Spotify laid bare their intention of getting in on social audio. In subsequent press material, they expressed that they were seeking to merge what makes Clubhouse popular—spontaneous conversations about current topics—with what many of those apps lack: a place to archive conversations for later consumption. In addition, Spotify stated that it would let users post live audio streams as on-demand podcasts for access through its own app.
“Interactivity and live is something our creators have been asking us for,” said Gustav Soderstrom, Spotify’s head of research and development. “A conversation between a few people, that has turned out to be a much more interesting live format.”
They didn’t waste time putting their plan into action, either. Earlier this month, they announced Spotify Greenroom—the ‘Spotified’-iteration of Locker Room.
Now available on iOS and Android in over 135 markets worldwide, they’ve emphasized that they’re building Greenroom with the creators and artists in mind, optimizing interactivity and deep connections between participants in live rooms. The app includes:
- New app branding (aka Greenroom) and a new overall look and feel
- The ability for any user to host or participate in live rooms
- A way to join Greenroom using your Spotify log-in info
- A new onboarding experience that puts users’ interests front and center
- Recording capabilities so you can complement your on-demand content with live conversations
- Chat controls to ensure the best possible experience
Geared towards creators
Spotify has stated that Greenroom’s offering will continue to evolve as they learn more about what creators and listeners want from their live audio experience. In an attempt to distinguish themself from other players in the market, they’re also leaning into the creator-centric approach and offering financial support in the way of a Creator Fund.
As they stated in a press release, “in the interest of making Greenroom the premier creator-friendly live audio platform, we’re also proud to announce that we will be launching a Spotify Creator Fund, which will help live audio creators monetize their work. Anyone who is interested can sign up to find out more about participation when the Creator Fund opens later this summer.” By offering an open financial incentive, they are clearly hoping to attract emerging talent in the social audio landscape.
The potential of social audio
When the initial purchase of Locker Room was announced, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek echoed many in the industry when he made the case everyone will soon be going in on social audio. He was adamant that every major platform will adopt live audio experiences and that they will ultimately follow the same trajectory of Stories (a feature initially popularized by Snapchat but now thriving across platforms), which have now become ubiquitous. Naturally, this sparked the interest of marketeers, who began thinking about ways these various platforms could foster creator-fan affinity and how they could incorporate audio content into a broader advertising strategy.
As the realm of social audio continues to evolve, though, it is crucial to keep in mind that it doesn’t stop at advertising. Organically speaking, the evolution of social audio as a medium of its own presents an opportunity to create a closer dialogue with customers and creators. Essentially, if there is a topic worth speaking about that a brand has a stake in or might have a point of view on, it’s a chance to drive a new type of conversation around it. It is clear that this is an exciting space to keep an eye on as it continues coming into its own. Evaluating its potential as a new channel to include in the marketing mix will be an exercise that many companies could, and should, explore.
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