Spotify and LinkedIn gear up to join the Clubhouse party
Spotify and LinkedIn are preparing to jump into the trendy "live audio" space after the invite-only Clubhouse app grabbed the attention of millions of iPhone users. Spotify has announced the acquisition of Betty Labs, which runs the sports-centric live audio exchange app Locker Room. Meanwhile, LinkedIn has said that it is also working on an audio networking feature of its own.
Spotify said it would expand Locker Room's audio exchange product to reach a "wider range of creators and fans". The company will offer a suite of sports, music, and cultural programming, in addition to a host of interactive features to enable creators to connect with audiences in real time. This could potentially put pressure on Clubhouse's invite-only strategy which is limited to iOS users.
Separately, LinkedIn is laying out the groundwork to begin beta testing its live audio feature. The Microsoft-owned social network insists its offering is unique given that it will be connected with users' professional identity, and not just their social profiles. The company is also putting in the hard yards by building a community for creators with the launch of its new Creator mode.
The list of competitors doesn't stop here, with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Slack hatching their own plans for audio-only features. Billionaire-investor Mark Cuban is also backing a live audio exchange platform called Fireside currently in beta testing. Clubhouse's prime selling points of exclusivity and uniqueness could come under fire once users have a plethora of options to choose from.
Still, Clubhouse remains a dominant player in the red-hot space and will look to safeguard its popularity. It plans to launch an Android app in a couple of months and is looking to add features to help creators get paid through tipping, tickets or subscriptions. Clubhouse is also trying to make the app more business-friendly with a Timeline feature to help teams organize calendars.