This is Why Spotify is Shutting Down Spotify Live, its Clubhouse Clone

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read Apr. 7

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - End of an Era. Check out the full article for more insights.

Earlier this week, Spotify announced in an email to users that Spotify Live will be shutting down at the end of the month. The email was short, simple, and unapologetic making me feel like whoever wrote it was excited to let go of this property.

In case you're not familiar with Live, and you're probably not the only one, Live was Spotify's attempt to compete with Clubhouse over audio-first social media. The app was initially launched by Betty Labs in 2020 exclusively for Apple devices, just like Clubhouse. Spotify acquired the company and app in 2021 and added an Android version which started seeing downloads in 2022.

So, why is Live going away so fast?

I'm sure you can guess it, but I'll point out the obvious - Live never took off. Not only that, it didn't even manage to get close to Clubhouse's success, even after that success faded.

Since launching in 2020 and up to the end of 2022, Live, which started life as Greenroom but was renamed later, made its way into 580K iOS and Android devices, according to our estimates. The majority of downloads, roughly 77%, came from the App Store. And similarly, country-wise, a similar percentage came from the US.

Considering all the excitement about audio around that time, not even hitting a million downloads is a failure when you consider Spotify's scale. And that's not all.

Looking at the trend, it was very obvious Live wasn't going to be a great success. Before the Android version started seeing downloads, the iOS app dropped so low downloads hit the very low hundreds in February and March of 2022.

Even with the Android version, Spotify Live is seeing under 1,000 downloads per day, according to our estimates.

And for context, Clubhouse saw 35M downloads in the same range and even though its peak is long gone, our estimates show it's still seeing close to 10,000 downloads daily.

When Clubhouse first came out, I didn't expect it to really take off. There are just so many challenges to live audio that weren't sorted out in the first iteration, and many are still unresolved, that I'm not surprised that Clubhouse faded away nor that even a giant like Spotify couldn't make it happen.

Twitter is the only place where audio is still happening. Very low-key, but that's probably the extent to which live audio can serve, as a feature of a fuller product.

This isn't really Spotify's failure, they had to try it. I applaud them for cutting the cord.

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Tagged: #music

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