Spotify, the audio streaming platform, said on Monday it planned to lay off around 200 people, including employees from popular podcast studios Gimlet Media and Parcast.
The 2 percent reduction in the company’s work force is part of a “strategic realignment” of the podcast division, Sahar Elahbashi, head of podcasts at Spotify, said in a memo to Spotify employees on Monday.
Since the beginning of 2019, the number of podcast shows on Spotify has grown from about 200,000 to more than 5 million, Ms. Allahbashi said. revised version of memorandum Which Spotify has posted on its website.
The period was a boom era for the podcasting industry, with media companies making large investments to expand their offerings. Spotify, which is based in Stockholm, bought Gimlet for $230 million and The Ringer for about $200 million in 2019 in 2020, sending a signal that it has broadened its ambitions beyond music streaming. it’s a flurry of spending cold last yearPodcast with companies cutting jobs and curbing budgets.
Ms Allahbashi said Spotify’s job cuts were part of an effort to provide more options for podcast creators. It said that as part of the restructuring, Gimlet and ParkCast would be absorbed into Spotify Studios.
Gimlet was founded in 2014 and is best known for beloved podcasts like “Reply All”. which was canceled Some employees in 2021 criticized its workplace culture and “heavyweights” who help people face unresolved issues from their past.
In May, Gimlet employees, especially host Connie Walker, were honored. a pulitzer prize In audio reporting for the show “Stolen: Surviving St. Michaels”. In the podcast, Ms. Walker explores her father’s and hundreds of other Indigenous children’s experience in Canada’s residential school system. Spotify said it would continue to produce the show.
Paracast is behind podcasts including “Disappearance” and “Dare to Lead,” the true crime show hosted by the vulnerability researcher and author Bren Brown,
Gimlet and Parkast and The Ringer will continue to create new shows and podcasts under Spotify Studios, Ms. Allahbashi said.
“Our continued success in growing the podcast ecosystem is based on the need that the Spotify machine always be in motion,” said Ms. Allahbashi. “And with these changes, we will accelerate the next chapter for podcasts on Spotify with stronger discovery and podcast habits for users, monetization and audience growth for creators, and a valuable, high-margin business for Spotify.” “
in a statement On Monday, the unions of Gimlet and Parkcast, which are part of the eastern branch of the Writers Guild of America, criticized Spotify over its handling of the acquisition of the two studios. The statement read, “They squandered that opportunity: canceled shows with dedicated audiences, left half-finished projects to die on the vine and gave teams little direction as to what exactly they wanted to do.” wanted to see.”
Unions said, “Spotify acquired Gimlet because it saw something special in the studio.” “But instead of building on that legacy, the company undermined it, and four years later Gimlet is no more.”
The Paracast union said its employees’ final months at the company were “plagued by a lack of instructions and transparency, confusion and announcements that were held back hours or days after they were made.”
Spotify declined to comment on the unions’ statement.
Podcast publishers including Vox Media and Pushkin Industries have announced layoffs this year. other media companies, such as Amazon, SiriusXM and nprPodcast budgets have been cut in the last year.