Spotify is really into audio other than music these days, and it’s latest venture into that realm is something called Spotify Greenroom, which is basically a knock-off of Clubhouse. In order to promote the new feature, the service has provided new and different ways for Greenroom creators to get paid, which may end up being a stroke of genius.
What It Is
First of all, Greenroom is a new app that lets you host or participate in live discussions where you can talk about the things you love with fans and artists in private virtual rooms. Speakers in the room appear at the top of the screen as rounded profile icons, while listeners appear below as smaller icons. The moderator has mute options, moderation controls and the ability to bring listeners onstage during the live audio session. Rooms can host up to 1,000 people, and Spotify expects to scale up that number later on.
Greenroom is now available on iOS and Android in over 135 markets around the world, and you don’t even need a Spotify account to download and access the app. Greenroom differs from other apps of this type in that it offers a live text chat feature that the host can turn on or off whenever they choose, and hosts can also request the audio file of their live audio session after it wraps, which they can then edit to turn into a podcast episode, which is a big plus.
While Clubhouse has recently launched its Payments service that allows users to donate to creators directly (with 100% of earnings going into their pockets), Spotify has countered with its Greenroom Creator Fund. This differs from Payments in 3 ways:
- Payouts are determined on the consumption of live content and how many people tune into a creator’s room
- Distributions are calculated weekly to “recognize creators developing their audiences”
- Finally, Spotify says it’s designing the fund to “pay a large base of creators”
For a company that lost $335 million last year, this seems like a swing-for-the-fences move designed to get some heavy-hitter celebs and influencers involved. For an artist, it actually makes more sense to try to take advantage of this deal since it may end up making you more money that what you make from music royalties from the platform.
While audio-only virtual rooms probably have a place in media, the idea isn’t as hot as it was even a month ago. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this initiative flame out, but corporately Spotify is doing everything it can to hit a home run revenue-wise. We’ll see if this one works.