Spotify Acquires Locker Room and Announces Plans for a New Live Audio Experience
During Spotify’s first-ever Stream On event last month, we explored the journey of creation, the promise of interactivity, and the investments we’re making to further unlock audio’s potential. Today, we are announcing that Spotify has acquired Betty Labs, the creators of Locker Room, a live audio app that’s changing the way insiders and fans talk about sports. This acquisition* builds on our work to create the “future formats of audio” and will accelerate Spotify’s entry into the live audio space.
“Creators and fans have been asking for live formats on Spotify, and we’re excited that soon, we’ll make them available to hundreds of millions of listeners and millions of creators on our platform,” said Gustav Söderström, Chief Research & Development Officer at Spotify. “The world already turns to us for music, podcasts, and other unique audio experiences, and this new live audio experience is a powerful complement that will enhance and extend the on-demand experience we provide today.”
In the coming months, Spotify will evolve and expand Locker Room into an enhanced live audio experience for a wider range of creators and fans. Through this new live experience, Spotify will offer a range of sports, music, and cultural programming, as well as a host of interactive features that enable creators to connect with audiences in real time. We’ll give professional athletes, writers, musicians, songwriters, podcasters, and other global voices opportunities to host real-time discussions, debates, ask me anything (AMA) sessions, and more.
Betty Labs is a forward-leaning team of developers, engineers, product thinkers, and sports fans focused on creating groundbreaking live experiences. The company, which was initially backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, and more recently by GV and Precursor Ventures, first introduced Locker Room to sports fans in October 2020. Looking ahead, Spotify will leverage its unparalleled data, insights, and strength in user experience to build out a full complement of live and on-demand offerings for users and creators across the globe.
“We are excited to join forces with Spotify and contribute to building the future of audio—we’ll invest more in our product, open the experience to Spotify’s audience, diversify our content offerings, and continue expanding the community we’ve built,” said Betty Labs Founder and CEO Howard Akumiah. “With Spotify, we’ll continue to offer the best home for sports fans and use the lessons we’ve learned along the way to create the ultimate destination for live conversation around music and culture.”
Interested in learning more? Check back here in the coming months for all the latest news and updates.
*Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This blog post contains estimates and forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The words “may,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “contemplate,” “possible,” and similar words are intended to identify estimates and forward-looking statements.
Our estimates and forward-looking statements are mainly based on our current expectations and estimates of future events and trends, which affect or may affect our businesses and operations. Although we believe that these estimates and forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, they are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties and are made in light of information currently available to us. Many important factors may adversely affect our results as indicated in forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: our ability to attract prospective users and to retain existing users; competition for users, user listening time, and advertisers; risks associated with our international expansion and our ability to manage our growth; our ability to predict, recommend, and play content that our users enjoy; our ability to effectively monetize our Service; our ability to generate sufficient revenue to be profitable or to generate positive cash flow and grow on a sustained basis; risks associated with the expansion of our operations to deliver non-music content, including podcasts, including increased business, legal, financial, reputational, and competitive risks; potential disputes or liabilities associated with content made available on our Service; risks relating to the acquisition, investment, and disposition of companies or technologies; our dependence upon third-party licenses for most of the content we stream; our lack of control over the providers of our content and their effect on our access to music and other content; our ability to comply with the many complex license agreements to which we are a party; our ability to accurately estimate the amounts payable under our license agreements; the limitations on our operating flexibility due to the minimum guarantees required under certain of our license agreements; Spotify Technology S.A. 42-44 avenue de la Gare, LU-1610 Luxembourg 10 our ability to obtain accurate and comprehensive information about the compositions embodied in sound recordings in order to obtain necessary licenses or perform obligations under our existing license agreements; new copyright legislation and related regulations that may increase the cost and/or difficulty of music licensing; assertions by third parties of infringement or other violations by us of their intellectual property rights; our ability to protect our intellectual property; the dependence of streaming on operating systems, online platforms, hardware, networks, regulations, and standards that we do not control; potential breaches of our security systems; interruptions, delays, or discontinuations in service in our systems or systems of third parties; changes in laws or regulations affecting us; risks relating to privacy and data security; our ability to maintain, protect, and enhance our brand; payment-related risks; our ability to hire and retain key personnel; our ability to accurately estimate our user metrics and other estimates; risks associated with manipulation of stream counts and user accounts and unauthorized access to our services; tax-related risks; the concentration of voting power among our founders who have and will continue to have substantial control over our business; risks related to our status as a foreign private issuer; international, national or local economic, social or political conditions; risks associated with accounting estimates, currency fluctuations and foreign exchange controls; and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations, including any adverse impact on advertising revenue or subscriber revenue. A detailed discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from our estimates and forward-looking statements is included in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC on February 5, 2021, and subsequently filed SEC filings. We undertake no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this shareholder letter.