Should Greenroom remain a separate app from Spotify?

Spotify launched Greenroom last month, a @Clubhouse competitor. They say “Greenroom is redefining the audio ecosystem by directly connecting users through real-time conversation”.

There are two reasons why Greenroom started out as a separate app:

  • Spotify rebranded Locker Room (recent acq.) to get to market faster.
  • a separate app makes it easier to test and iterate as it is a totally new offering when compared to the core Spotify experience.

Now let’s dive into if Greenroom should remain a separate app.

Spotify’s mission is to “unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.”

Spotify wants to become the place for everything audio. It started with music and now we see a huge push towards podcasts. They’re acquiring big-name podcasts (JRE), podcasting companies (Gimlet), publishing platforms (@anchor) and now social audio platforms (Locker Room).

Spotify has a massive number of listeners so it makes sense that Greenroom can leverage that existing userbase and have higher a utilization without having the friction to download and sign up for a new app.

Single App:

  • Easier to drive growth and make it rank higher on the @AppStore.
  • Allows users to discover other parts of the business. When a user opens Spotify for podcasts, they’re likely to explore Greenroom too.
  • However, will lead to a bloated experience.

Separate App:

  • Cleaner experience.
  • More real estate to unpack other social audio features.
  • However, harder to drive growth. Spotify will have to drive usage, growth, and ranking (in @AppStore) from the ground up for 2 separate apps.

Other Tradeoffs

Spotify is available in 178 countries but Greenroom is only available in 135. With a single app, this situation will create a fragmented experience for the end-users as well as create complexities for Spotify to manage. A separate app makes much more sense.

Conclusion

Single app is better for growth and adoption. However, a separate app makes much more sense from a user experience standpoint. With a separate app, Spotify can mitigate Greenroom’s growth problem by implementing growth hacks and using referrals to incentivize users.

Future

Spotify offers personalization and is built around consumption. Greenroom, however, has the potential to grow into its own social platform with live DJs, live podcasts, live commentary, and much more. Thus, both can remain separate apps and grow into valuable verticals.

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