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Spotify Confirms Layoffs As Part of Podcast Division Restructure

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The media giant also announced plans to merge its Parcast and Gimlet media entities into one Spotify Studios unit as part of the company’s “strategic realignment.”

Spotify is laying off 2% — roughly 200 jobs — of its team members from its podcast division, the company confirmed in a memo on Monday. The layoffs are part of a “strategic realignment” within the unit in order to “support the creator community better.”

“We are expanding our partnership efforts with leading podcasters from across the globe with a tailored approach optimized for each show and creator. This fundamental pivot from a more uniform proposition will allow us to support the creator community better. However, doing so requires adapting; over the past few months, our senior leadership team has worked closely with HR to determine the optimal organization for this next chapter,” said Sahar Elhabashi, Spotify’s head of the podcast business.

Per an SEC notice, Spotify’s global workforce was 8,359 people in 2020, with 4,332 of those employees in the United States.

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While not necessarily a personnel change, the streaming platform also announced plans to merge its Parcast and Gimlet media entities into a single Spotify Studios unit, consequently joining The Ringer in churning out original content. This is an interesting move considering Spotify splashed around $200 million for Gimlet Media and $56 million for Parcast in 2019. Spotify abandoned plans for 10 shows from Parcast and Gimlet last October, but Elhabashi promises that moving forward, approved shows will have “an increased focus on always-on programming that drives strong, loyal audiences and attracts advertisers.”

“Our continued success in growing the podcast ecosystem is predicated on the necessity that the Spotify Machine is always in motion,” the MTV Networks alum added. “And with these changes, we will accelerate into the next chapter for podcasts on Spotify with strong discovery and podcast habits for users, thriving monetization and audience growth for creators, and a valuable, high-margin business for Spotify.”

As part of this revelation, the company also shared some metrics about its podcast operations. There are now 100 million podcast listeners on Spotify across 5 million shows. Podcast ad sales have also experienced “high double-digit growth” from 2021 to 2022.

In closing remarks, Spotify promises that employees who are affected by the layoffs will get “generous severance packages, including extended Healthcare coverage and immediate access to outplacement support.”

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.