Spotify On The Attack

Back in May last year I added Spotify to my 8-80 portfolio when the stock was trading at $160.

I shared some links on their strategy at the end of the post that still are good reads if you want to catch up.

Spotify ran to nearly $400 early this year before slipping recently to $270. We are now down 30 plus percent from the recent all-time high.

What has changed?

A startup called Clubhouse offering live audio entered the markets and over the last year has taken off and received a $1 billion valuation.

The live audio attention has Spotify’s attention.

Last week Spotify acquired a live audio competitor called ‘Locker Room’ that was focused on live sports (from Bloomberg):

Spotify Technology SA has acquired Betty Labs Inc., the creator of Locker Room, moving into live audio with an app that lets sports fans and experts chat in real time. Spotify will operate Locker Room as a separate business, rather than integrate it into its namesake app, according to a statement Tuesday. It will rename the service and broaden its offerings beyond sports. The price wasn’t disclosed. Live audio is now booming on the internet, thanks to Discord, an app for gamers, and Clubhouse, which is backed by a couple of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists. Twitter Inc. has rolled outs its own competitor, Spaces, while Facebook Inc. is also reported to be working on a clone.

Recently, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had this to say re live audio and Clubhouse:

On Clubhouse, my fundamental view is that Clubhouse is really two things. It’s a creative format and it’s super-engaging for creators. It’s very interesting with the interactivity, so we obviously pay a lot of attention to all social and interactive features. The second part is the listening part as well. Long term I believe the major trend on the Internet isn’t linear and live programming, but it’s still time-shifted and on-demand, and to that extent I feel very good about where we’re placed, but obviously, to the extent that creators find interesting ways to interact with their audience that’s definitely something that we’re paying a lot of attention to and looking at and experimenting with as well.

Spotify now has a BIGLY answer to the innovative Clubhouse and that is what you need to see from incumbents. Spotify is attacking early to own all audio.

Have a great Sunday.