Spotify’s Greenroom Clubhouse Clone Is Off to a Slow Start — Can Social Audio Rebound?

Spotify Greenroom
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Spotify Greenroom
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Photo Credit: Spotify

Spotify officially launched social-audio platform Greenroom in mid-June, but the Clubhouse competitor is off to a slow start, user-download stats show.

Stockholm-based Spotify rolled out an iOS and Android edition of Greenroom on Wednesday, June 16th, following the late-March acquisition of sports-focused social-audio app (and key Clubhouse competitor) Locker Room. Moreover, Spotify higher-ups indicated in their Q2 2021 earnings report yesterday that Greenroom is simply “a redesigned version of Betty Lab’s Locker Room app.”

While Clubhouse this month ceased requiring prospective users to receive – or purchase, from third-party sellers – invitations in order to access the platform, Spotify Greenroom has been open to any and all interested individuals from the get-go. To be sure, though one can sign into Greenroom with a Spotify account (premium or ad-supported), users can also create a profile specifically for the former.

Notwithstanding this accessibility, Spotify’s sizable investment in social audio, and the potential for music and artists to drive conversations on Greenroom, however, app-install data shows that the Clubhouse rival is slowly developing its userbase.

According to Sensor Tower, Spotify Greenroom scored 80,000 worldwide iOS downloads in June – TechCrunch has pegged the iOS download total, also accounting for July, at 141,000 – compared to 900,000 iOS downloads for Clubhouse during the same period. The Google Play Store shows that Greenroom has garnered north of 100,000 Android installs thus far, against 10 million Android installs for Clubhouse. It bears mentioning on this front that Clubhouse was available solely to iOS users until debuting an Android beta in May of 2021.

While the precise reasons for Greenroom’s tepid reception remain unclear, it’s worth noting that Clubhouse, having become an overnight success shortly after the onset of the pandemic (and the implementation of lockdown measures), has experienced a material decline in Google search volume and app installs in 2021. The aforementioned 900,000 iOS downloads that Clubhouse secured during June marked a more than 90 percent falloff from February, which brought 9.6 million downloads.

Needless to say, the widespread return of crowd-based live entertainment, family gatherings, and other in-person activities may well have played a part in the interest dip that social audio has faced through 2021’s initial seven months.

Plus, more than a few companies – Facebook and Twitter among them – are moving to establish a foothold in the space by launching Clubhouse clones, and this amplified market competition could be playing a part in Clubhouse’s comparatively lackluster download rate and Greenroom’s slow rise. Of course, Facebook and Twitter also appear to have an inherent advantage over Clubhouse and Greenroom in the form of their already-substantial userbases and considerable traffic.

Lastly, with some observers questioning the long-term viability of social audio, it should be mentioned that Mark Zuckerberg stated in April that Facebook will continue to invest in audio-centered initiatives even if “it takes a little bit of iteration to get” projects like Soundbites “to work really well.”