Spotify confirms it’s shutting down its live-audio app

Platform plans to continue incorporating live features in the future, however

Spotify’s live-audio app Spotify Live is to be shut down, the company has officially confirmed, validating suspicions that were raised last year regarding the future of the service. 

First reported by music technology publication Music Ally, a Spotify spokesperson told PodPod that the platform went through a period of experimentation and learning to observe how users interact with live audio and concluded that while there could still be a future for live fan-creator interactions within Spotify, it “no longer makes sense” to keep Spotify Live as a standalone app. Spotify also confirmed that the app will be shutting down on 30 April this year.

“We have seen promising results in the artist-focused use case of ‘listening parties’, which we will continue to explore moving forward to facilitate live interactions between artists and fans,” said the Spotify spokesperson.

The companion app, which allows users to host or participate in live-audio streams, was rebranded from ‘Spotify Greenroom’ in April 2022 after the platform integrated live audio capabilities into its main streaming app. While audiences could interact with creators on the Spotify Live, the main streaming app does not offer interactivity features but does reach a wider audience.

Later that year in December, Spotify started to cut back on its live audio programming, with the company confirming to TechCrunch that several of its original live shows were going to be discontinued, including Doughboys: Snack Pack, Duex Me After Dark, A Gay In The Life and The Movie Buff

Additionally, of the 33 shows listed under Spotfiy’s live audio category, more than two-thirds were inactive for at least several weeks or had already explicitly ended, including live shows from high-profile Spotify Exclusive creators such as Call Her Daddy’s Alex Cooper. The ‘Live on Spotify’ genre was also no longer appearing in the overall list of genres on the platform at the time, and was only accessible via specifically searching for it. 

Spotify first began investing in live audio in early 2021, through its €57 million (£50 million) acquisition of developers Betty Labs, creator of the Locker Room app. This live audio platform was originally based primarily on sports content, but was launched to a more general audience as Spotify Greenroom post-acquisition.

Amid the short-lived success of live audio apps like Clubhouse in the early days of COVID-19 lockdowns - where audiences could listen in on, and contribute to, live discussions - platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Spotify quickly moved to replicate the capability. 

However, Facebook has rolled its Clubhouse equivalent into the wider Facebook Live product, while Clubhouse itself has waned in popularity, with downloads dropping by more than 80% according to The Verge.

Other platforms that have attempted to dive into the live audio space include Twitter, which launched Spaces with live chat rooms that anyone can access, but according to The Verge, most of the Spaces team was laid off and podcasts were thrown out of the mix once Elon Musk took over as owner.