Podcasting unions Gimlet and Parcast slam Spotify’s mismanagement as company lays off 200 employees: “Whether Spotify Studios has any vision remains to be seen.”
streaming giant Spotify announced Monday its plans to lay off around 200 employees, including employees at popular podcast studios Gimlet Media and Parcast. This “strategic realignment” of Spotify’s podcast division has resulted in a joint opinion by unions representing Gimlet and Parcast and denouncing the mismanagement by both companies that has led to this issue.
“As of today, Gimlet and Parcast no longer exist. “Spotify notified us this morning that we have been inducted into Spotify Studios,” begins a statement from the Writers Guild of America, East members at Gimlet and Parcast. “Spotify also laid off 200 people today, including many workers unionized at the Writers Guild of America, East. This comes on top of the extensive layoffs over the past year.”
The statement goes on to explain how heartbroken employees at both companies are. When Spotify bought Gimlet and Parcast for nearly $300 million, it “missed an opportunity” to capitalize on the talent it gained by “cancelling shows with engaged audiences and leaving half of them.” -Completed projects are dying ice cream and give the teams very little direction as to what they actually want to see produced.”
“Spotify also made many of our shows exclusive to the platform, limiting the revenue our studios could generate,” they continue. “Spotify has tacitly acknowledged this as leadership has since reversed that decision.”
“Aside from programming missteps, Spotify also refused to fund Parcast’s DEI committee as stipulated in their union agreement.”
“Our past few months have been marked by a lack of direction and transparency, confusion, and announcements being retracted hours or days after they were released,” the statement said, adding that production on some Gimlet shows is continuing. “Gimlet and Parcast were visionary studios that shaped our industry. Whether Spotify Studios has a vision remains to be seen.”
While Spotify hasn’t officially announced Parcast cancellations, the unions’ statement said the layoffs “demonstrate an unwillingness to continue investing” in many of their popular, long-running shows.
A pioneer in podcasting, Gimlet produced genre-defining shows like Reply All, Motherhacker, Homecoming, Crime Series, And conviction. Parcast has directed numerous popular shows with dedicated fan bases, including serial killers, conspiracy theories, And Supernatural with Ashley Flowers.