Spotify announces 200 podcasting layoffs, merges Parcast and Gimlet and revitalizes Spotify Studios in search of “valuable, high-margin business”.

Photo credit: Spotify

Amid an aggressive pursuit of profitability in podcasting, Spotify has announced another round of layoffs — affecting about 200 people who work in and around its “global podcast industry.”

The Stockholm-based platform today announced the downsizing, towards the end of a lengthy “adjustment of an internal update” penned by podcast boss Sahar Elhabashi. After saving billions on exclusive programs and spoken word deals in recent years, Spotify has been taking steps to reduce spending in the podcasting space since 2022.

Regardless of a general layoff announced in early 2023, these podcast cuts so far have resulted in the closure of Spotify Studios, a series of executive departures and the cancellation of several original series (as well as several live TV series) . audio shows).

Additionally, in the first five months of the year, newly cost-conscious company Spotify axed Heardle (which was only purchased in 2022), scrapped Spotify Live, and moved to hiring team members, including but not limited to a copy lead, to do so will “Take ownership of the Spotify brand voice for podcasters.”

With that in mind, Spotify made the “about 200” layoffs mentioned earlier, affecting about 2 percent of its workforce and part of a broader “strategic realignment,” according to Elhabashi, who was named VP and head of the podcast business in January.

It is unclear exactly which positions will be affected by the layoffs. Elhabashi indicated that Human Resources has already been in contact with the affected professionals, none of whom have posted on LinkedIn at the time of writing. Broadly, these individuals’ responsibilities extend to “the global podcast industry and other functions.”

In any case, the company is also merging Parcast and Gimlet “into a renewed Spotify Studios operation” – with the entity (as well as the still independent wrestler) poised to “approve new shows with an increased focus on ongoing programming.” attracts an audience large enough to generate significant advertising revenue.

At the executive level, Liz Gateley, who has been at the helm for more than four years, is moving from senior creative executive at Spotify Originals to head of development at Spotify Studios, with former Parcast MD Liliana Kim now responsible for the revived department’s “current content”. responsible is. Bill Simmons will continue to lead The Ringer while working to improve “the monetization opportunities for all of our podcasts.”

Finally, as for the details of the reorganization, Elhabashi’s employer intends to expand “teams supporting creator partnerships” under content partnerships lead Bryan Thoensen, who joined from TikTok in September.

“Our continued success in growing the podcast ecosystem is built on the need for the Spotify machine to keep moving,” Elhabashi forwarded finally. “And with these changes, we will open 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.”

Today, Spotify stock (a significant portion of which is owned by ValueAct Capital Management) hit another 52-week high, this time trading at $157.13 per share. Late last month, SoundCloud announced its own round of layoffs to “reach profitability by the end of this year.”