Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed

Check out our list of top companies

Check out our carefully compiled lists of the most relevant and impactful companies within their fields.

Check out our list of top unicorns

Read and learn about the biggest companies that various countries have produced, how they made it, and what the future looks like for them.

Spotify's 'Listening Party' Falls Short Again

Three years after acquiring live audio startup Betty Labs, Spotify still isn't fully capitalizing on its potential
May 22, 2024

Three years ago, Spotify acquired live audio startup Betty Labs, but the music streaming giant has yet to fully capitalize on this investment. Betty Labs initially launched Locker Room, a sports-centric social audio app, in 2020. The app allowed sports fans to engage in live conversations, create watch parties, and react to games in real time. Spotify rebranded it as Greenroom to appeal to a broader audience, including fans of music, fantasy football, and more. However, despite this ambitious rebranding, Greenroom struggled to gain traction.

Renamed Spotify Live in 2021, the platform was short-lived and officially shut down last year. Its demise can be attributed to various factors, including the overall decline of social audio platforms like Clubhouse and Reddit Live Talk. Users also reported numerous bugs, poor audio quality, and a limiting room capacity of just 1,000 participants.

Fortunately, Spotify hasn't completely abandoned the live audio concept. In December 2023, the company introduced "Listening Party," an in-app experimental feature. This new initiative allows superfans to join invite-only live listening sessions, where they can hear directly from artists, participate in live chats, and even request to speak with the artists. According to Spotify, this was the most promising feature of the former Spotify Live.

Spotify has been testing Listening Party with several artists, including Zara Larsson, Bleachers, MGMT, and Lizzy McAlpine. Most recently, Billie Eilish hosted a Listening Party for her top fans on May 17 to celebrate her latest album, "Hit Me Hard and Soft." The event attracted 2,500 users, including myself, and while fan excitement was high, the execution left much to be desired. Eilish's session, which featured a 50-minute stream of her new album with minimal interaction, felt more like a passive listening session than an engaging live event.

This lack of interactivity was also noted by MGMT fans during their session. Many expected a more dynamic discussion with the artists, rather than a straightforward album stream. Eilish's event also missed out on the "Onstage" feature, which allows fans to request to speak directly with the artist. Instead, fans were limited to written reactions, hoping Eilish would notice and respond.

Despite these shortcomings, Listening Party does offer an alternative to in-person events and a unique way for fans to connect with artists. However, the feature is currently only available to highly engaged listeners in the U.S. and Indonesia, excluding many fans who would love to participate.

While Spotify's introduction of Listening Party shows its commitment to making the most of its $62 million investment in Betty Labs, the company still has significant ground to cover to become a leader in the live audio space. Listening Party is still in its early stages, with plenty of room for growth and improvement. As it evolves, Spotify has the potential to redefine live audio experiences and provide fans with more meaningful interactions with their favorite artists.

More about:  |

Last related articles

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram