Amazon is reportedly building a live audio service that is expected to work with Alexa, according to Axios.
Sources close to the project say that Amazon's offering will allow "podcast networks, musicians and celebrities" to broadcast live concerts and events. The service could form part of Amazon Music and rival similar offerings from Spotify, Twitter and Facebook.
Amazon will focus on music, apparently, but the tech giant is said to be eyeing talk radio programs too. Sources also claim that Amazon wants to integrate live audio into Twitch, its gamer-focused live video streaming platform.
Axios says that the popularity of live audio services has "exploded" during the pandemic. Clubhouse, a new type of social network, based on real-time voices rather than airbrushed photos, claims that its users now create some 700,000 live audio rooms a day, up from 300,000 in May.
Spotify, meanwhile, purchased Locker Room – a live audio service geared around sports – in March. Three months later it rebranded the app 'Spotify Greenroom', broadening its appeal by offering a host of live discussions and debates covering "sports, music, and cultural programming".
Silicon Valley's love affair with live audio doesn't end there, though. Twitter began rolling out Spaces, which offers live audio events, last year and Facebook followed with a similar app called Live Audio Rooms. Will this love of live audio last? We shall see.
Amazon is yet to comment on the rumours but the tech giant is certainly investing heavily in audio, having purchased podcast publisher Wondery in December last year and made its Amazon Music HD hi-res audio tier free for all Amazon Music users in May.
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