In a significant move, Spotify, the music streaming behemoth, has announced a new round of layoffs and structural changes in its podcast division. This comes after a series of layoffs in January and October.
According to a memo from Sahar Elhabashi, the head of Spotify’s podcast unit, the company will be reducing its workforce by approximately 2 percent, which equates to around 200 jobs. The decision is part of a broader strategy to optimize the company’s operations and better support the creator community.
Elhabashi stated, “We are expanding our partnership efforts with leading podcasters from across the globe with a tailored approach optimized for each show and creator. This fundamental pivot from a more uniform proposition will allow us to support the creator community better.”
In addition to the layoffs, Spotify will be merging its Parcast and Gimlet studios into a single entity, now known as Spotify Studios. This newly formed division will join The Ringer in producing Spotify originals. The focus will be on greenlighting new shows that drive strong, loyal audiences and attract advertisers.
In October, Spotify had cancelled 10 shows from Parcast and Gimlet. Following these changes, Nicole Beemsterboer and Liliana Kim, who were named to lead those divisions, will now play key roles in the new structure. Kim will oversee current content for Spotify Studios, while Liz Gately will lead development. Julie McNamara will head Spotify Studios, and Bill Simmons will continue to run The Ringer and lead podcast innovation and monetization.
Elhabashi expressed confidence in the new direction, stating, “Our continued success in growing the podcast ecosystem is predicated on the necessity that the Spotify Machine is always in motion. And with these changes, we will accelerate into 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.”
These changes signal a significant shift in Spotify’s podcast strategy, with a clear focus on optimizing operations, supporting creators, and driving audience growth and monetization. It remains to be seen how these changes will impact the broader podcast industry.
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