Spotify lays off 200 employees, gutting Gimlet Media and Parcast

Spotify lays off 200 employees, gutting Gimlet Media and Parcast

Spotify has eradicated 200 roles, principally in its podcast division, gutting two widespread studios it acquired a couple of years in the past.

The pinnacle of Spotify’s podcast division, Sahar Elhabashi, advised staff in an inside memo on Monday that the streaming firm was making a “elementary pivot” towards creator-focused podcasting, in keeping with an amended model of the memo posted to the corporate’s web site. As a part of that “strategic realignment,” Elhabashi stated, the corporate was eliminating about 200 roles in its podcast division and “different features.” The layoffs quantity to a few 2 % reduce to the corporate’s workforce, he stated.

Parcast and Gimlet Media, two podcast studios that Spotify acquired in 2019, shall be mixed into an operation referred to as Spotify Studios, which Elhabashi stated will preserve producing reveals comparable to “The Journal,” a every day information present by Gimlet and the Wall Road Journal, in addition to “Stolen,” a collection in regards to the residential faculty system in Canada that was used to forcibly assimilate the nation’s Indigenous populations.

The employees of Gimlet had final month acquired a Pulitzer Prize for “Stolen.”

In a statement responding to the layoffs, the union representing Gimlet and Parcast guild members, the Writers Guild of America, East, stated that “as of at present, Gimlet and Parcast now not exist.” Members had been knowledgeable Monday morning that the studios had been being “absorbed into Spotify Studios,” it stated.

The union famous that Spotify, which relies in Stockholm, had paid almost $300 million to accumulate the 2 studios, however then “wasted that chance” by missteps together with canceling widespread reveals, it stated. Spotify additionally restricted many reveals to be solely broadcast on its platforms, “limiting the quantity of income our studios may herald,” the assertion stated.

Aggressive methods like exclusivity “haven’t actually labored in an setting of so, so many podcasts,” stated Amanda Lotz, a media guide and educational based mostly in Australia. She stated the layoffs had been “primarily tied to podcasts changing into overvalued in a short time,” including that the cuts had been a “pure adjustment reasonably than something greater.”

“Podcasts can’t defy the regulation of provide and demand,” stated Gabriel Kahn, a journalism professor on the College of Southern California who research the media trade and consults on technique.

“Provide has proliferated. Demand has not,” he stated. “Pair that with a dip in promoting spending and one thing has to provide.”

Spotify didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Its inventory was up 3 % at shut on Monday.

The transfer comes after Spotify final 12 months laid off employees because it canceled 11 reveals made by Gimlet and Parcast, together with “The way to Save a Planet,” a well-liked local weather change podcast. The variety of new podcasts dropped by almost 77 % from 2020 to 2022, in keeping with Hear Notes, a podcast database.

Spotify’s Joe Rogan downside highlights its rocky transition from music streamer to media producer

Spotify’s announcement that it was focusing extra on “creators” aligns with its strikes in current months to focus extra on particular person personalities reasonably than reveals like information programming or true-crime collection that had beforehand been a spotlight of the podcasting trade. Emma Chamberlain, a social media influencer-turned-celebrity, reached a deal final 12 months to carry her podcast “Something Goes,” a mixture of private commentary, self assist and different recommendation, to Spotify. Movies of the present can be found solely on the streaming platform, which is healthier identified for audio than visuals.

However Spotify’s funding in particular person creators has at occasions backfired. Joe Rogan — the controversial host of “The Joe Rogan Expertise,” a podcast that has turn into synonymous with an archetype of reasonably conservative, younger White males — sparked extensive backlash final 12 months in opposition to Spotify, which was internet hosting his present solely, after he spouted misinformation in regards to the coronavirus. The controversy spurred some creators to tug their music or podcasts from Spotify — the hashtag #DeleteSpotify started trending — and induced inside dissent amongst staff who stated they had been embarrassed to work for the streaming firm amid the outcry.


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