What is Greenroom? Spotify launches live audio app to rival Clubhouse

The music-streaming giant says the app is now available in more than 135 markets around the world

Spotify has launched a live audio app called Greenroom, the Swedish music-streaming giant's answer to the popular platform Clubhouse.

Greenroom, which was released on Wednesday, allows users to join live discussions or to host their own.

Spotify launched Greenroom after acquiring Betty Labs, the company behind the popular sports-focused audio platform Locker Room.

Along with podcasts, social audio has taken off over the past year with the San Francisco-headquartered Clubhouse leading the way.

Since December, Clubhouse has been downloaded more than 18 million times, according to website AppMagic.

Other tech giants have also jumped into the live audio sector with Twitter launching Spaces in December and Facebook hosting Live Audio Rooms.

Questions remain, however, over the ability of the various platforms to monetise their content.

"In the interest of making Greenroom the premier creator-friendly live audio platform, we’re also proud to announce that we will be launching a Spotify Creator Fund, which will help live audio creators monetise their work," Spotify said in a statement.

"Anyone who is interested can sign up to find out more about participation when the Creator Fund opens later this summer."

Users of Greenroom do not need a Spotify account to use the app, which can be downloaded separately. Those with an existing Spotify account need only tap on the "Continue with Spotify" button once in the Greenroom app.

How do you use Greenroom?

Anyone can start a Room by tapping the Create Room button at the bottom of the Home page, Spotify says.

Creating a Room means you’re the host, so you can invite others to join as well as control requests to speak. Alternatively, you can search for groups, people to follow or groups with Live Rooms that you can log into.

If you follow groups or individuals, you'll get a notification when they start a Live Room.

Greenroom will also have to compete with Discord, which has been offering live audio since 2015 and has more than 140 million users, although it has been more focused on video game players.

Spotify has the advantage of already being an audio platform through its focus on music and, more recently, podcasts.

Greenroom is available in most countries where Spotify is available, in more than 135 markets, the company said, although English is the only language option currently.

"We’re building Greenroom with the creators and artists in mind who make Spotify great, optimising for interactivity and deep connections between participants in live rooms," it added.

– Additional reporting by AFP