Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform.
Amazon sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products. The effort is led by Amazon's Music division, includes paying podcast networks, musicians and celebrities to use the feature for live conversations, shows and events e.g. a live concert on Amazon music.
The feature is being built to focus on live music, but Amazon is also eyeing talk radio programs and podcasts as an extension to that effort. Amazon also plans to integrate live audio into its live video service Twitch.
Live Audio services have exploded in the pandemic with Clubhouse leading the charge. Clubhouse said Sunday that users create over 700k live audio rooms each day, up from 300k in May. Spotify recently acquired Betty Labs and has since launched Greenroom, a live social audio app focused on talk, music and sports, and has launched a livestream feature for concerts. Twitter this week rolled out ticketed live audio events for its Spaces feature.
Short Squeez Takeaway: Even before the pandemic, audio services had been taking off and the pandemic has only increased the pace of adoption. In some ways, live audio offers similar benefits to work from home. You do not have to be fully dressed and can have a decent conversation from the comfort of your home. The live audio space is only expected to grow and we expect Amazon to be a big player going forward.