Spotify Acquires Betty Labs, Creator of Live Sports Audio App Locker Room

By McKenzie Carpenter Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The audio streaming industry is ever-expanding. Today, Spotify announced the business is acquiring Betty Labs, an app development startup company and creator of Locker Room.

Closeup of Spotify app on a mobile phone.

About Each Business

Spotify is a music and audio streaming app company that has grown to become the largest music streaming app service in the United States (US). Founded in 2006, the music app business has hundreds of millions of monthly users, and according to Google Finance, is worth an estimated $48.05 billion. In February, Startup Savant reported Spotify is launching a higher-quality audio option later this year.

Betty Labs is an app development startup business that created a live sports audio app, Locker Room. According to Crunchbase data, the Los Angeles-based startup company was founded by Howard Akumiah and has raised $9.3 million in funding.

Betty Labs Acquisition Deal

Today, Spotify announced it acquired Betty Labs after exploring the potential of live audio content during the first-ever Stream On event in February for the music app company. Spotify detailed the Betty Labs acquisition as part of a new mission for the business to accelerate entry into the live audio space.

Gustav Söderström, chief research and development officer at the music streaming company, said in the press release, “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...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.”

As a result of the app development startup’s acquisition, Spotify will be expanding the reach of Locker Room to offer an interactive audio experience for a wider audience through sports, music, cultural programming, real-time discussions, debates, ask-me-anything (AMA) sessions, and more.

In the press release, Howard Akumiah, founder and CEO of Betty Labs, said of the music streaming company acquiring Betty Labs, “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...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.”

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Spotify’s Competitors

While Spotify is an industry leader in music and audio streaming, it is up against some tough competition like Apple Music, Google Play, Pandora, SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music.

The news of this acquisition deal comes at a time when invite-only live audio app company, Clubhouse, grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many news outlets speculated Spotify’s acquisition of Betty Labs is potentially a way to compete with Clubhouse.

Spotify has acquired several other businesses and startup companies in the past including, Anchor, Gimlet Media, Parcast, and The Ringer.

About the Author

Headshot for author McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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