Streaming giant Spotify is letting go of 200 workers in its podcast division — equating to around 2% of its in-person workforce — as the company pivots its relationships with “leading podcasters from across the globe.”
This follows similar actions made in January of this year, when the music and podcast platform decided to axe around 600 staffers, including its former head of content, Dawn Ostroff.
As the economic forecast for big tech grows increasingly hostile, Spotify follows in the footsteps of other tech companies like Meta and Google that have been forced to make major cuts to personnel after expanding too fast throughout the pandemic.
Spotify Is Letting Go of 200 Workers in Second Round of Layoffs
Spotify has announced it will be letting go of 200 of its employees from its podcast division as the company plan to merge networks Parcast and Gimlet Studios.
Both podcast platforms will continue to produce popular original shows like ‘Stolen', ‘The Journal', and ‘Serial Killers', and will also retain the power to greenlight new shows.
According to an internal memo released by Head of Podcasts, Sahar Elhabashi, these changes are part of the company's “next phase” of its podcast strategy, which is focused on expanding partnership efforts with podcasters from around the globe and tailoring approaches to each show and creator.
“We have made the difficult but necessary decision to make a strategic realignment of our group and reduce our global podcast vertical and other functions by approximately 200 people, or 2% of Spotify’s workforce.” – Statement from Sahar Elhabashi, Head of Spotify's Podcast Business.
With Spotify welcoming over 100 regular million global podcast listeners and becoming the most-used audio platform since they began investing in their podcast space in 2019, news of its “strategic realignment” may come as a surprise.
However, despite Spotify's successes, the platform axed 10 shows from its networks last year, as the company encounters the same problems faced by the rest of the tech sector.
Elhabashi notes that each impacted employee will receive a generous severance package, including extended healthcare coverage and access to outplacement support.
The Layoff Saga Continues
Spotify's layoffs mirror even bigger cuts made earlier this year. In January, the streaming platform laid off 6% of its total workforce, including its former head of content, Dawn Ostroff, who was instrumental to the company's post-pandemic rise.
They also echo similar decisions made by influential tech companies this year, with Meta handing out 6,000 pink slips this May in its third round of layoffs, and Vodafone cutting 11,000 workers in the same month.
A new report from Challenger reveals that almost half a million US workers have been dismissed this year alone, as uncertain economic conditions and rapid developments in AI prompt the highest levels of job insecurity seen in years.
As more companies brace for impact, it's likely that more big names will need to make similar decisions to Spotify. To stay in the loop, check out our regularly updated guide to layoffs happening within the tech sector.