Spotify, the popular audio streaming company, has announced that spotify to lay off 200 employees from its podcasting unit, which constitutes about 2% of its global workforce. The decision is part of a strategic realignment within the podcast department, which includes merging Parcast and Gimlet Media studios into one entity. However, Bill Simmons’ sports podcast, “The Ringer,” will continue to operate independently.
Spotify aims to expand its partnership efforts with leading podcasters worldwide by adopting a tailored approach optimized for each show and creator. Sahar Elhabashi, Spotify’s Vice President, stated in a note that this shift away from a more uniform proposition will enable better support for the creator community. So, Spotify to lay off this year over 200 employees.
Over the past few years, Spotify has heavily invested in podcasts. In 2019, the company redesigned its app to prioritize podcasts and has spent over $500 million on podcast production studios. It has also secured exclusive distribution rights for popular podcasts like “The Joe Rogan Experience” and “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper.
However, Spotify has recently been reducing its number of exclusive podcast deals. Agreements with individuals such as self-help guru Brené Brown, sports journalist Jemele Hill, and former US President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are expiring.
Unfazed by the changes
Despite these changes, Spotify remains a dominant player in the podcasting industry. The company boasts 100 million podcast listeners and holds the position of the top podcast publisher in the United States. Furthermore, Spotify reported a significant growth in podcast ad revenue, experiencing high double-digit growth from 2021 to 2022.
Second Round of Layoffs
This marks Spotify’s second round of layoffs this year. In January, the company had to cut approximately 6% of its global workforce due to a slowdown in advertising spending. CEO Daniel Ek acknowledged the ambitious investments made ahead of revenue growth and the unexpected impact of the pandemic on the business. Spotify reportedly dropped numerous shows last fall, shedding nearly 5 percent of its podcast team in the process, so its confirm that spotify to lay off 200 employees from its podcasting unit.
One notable individual affected by the previous round of layoffs was Dawn Ostroff, the former chief content officer of Spotify, who had played a significant role in securing various podcasting deals during her tenure.
As Spotify adjusts its podcasting strategy, it aims to enhance its support for podcast creators while navigating the evolving landscape of the industry.