los angeles times
Swedish streaming audio giant Spotify said Monday it will cut 200 jobs, about 2% of its workforce, as it restructures its podcast division.
The job cuts come amid mounting pressure on technology companies to cut costs and boost profits in an uncertain economic environment.
Spotify cut its workforce by 6%, or about 600 people, earlier this year, with CEO Daniel Ek citing the growing importance of efficiency.
The Stockholm-based audio company has announced that podcast production companies Gimlet and Percast will be combined into a “new Spotify studio operation” to be overseen by Julie McNamara, head of global podcast studios.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on original programming as a key component of our focus on creators,” said Sahar Elhabashi, vice president of podcast business, in a revised and shared post on Spotify’s website. said in an internal company update.
The company has invested heavily in podcasting over the years, acquiring several production companies such as Gimlet and Percast, and expanding its footprint in downtown Los Angeles with a campus that includes a building known as “Pod City.” bottom.
Spotify has become the number one podcast publisher, with more than 100 million monthly podcast listeners, according to the company.
But the costs of getting there are under scrutiny, including expensive contracts with reporters and celebrities. The company cut about 40 people from its podcast staff last year and eliminated 11 shows.
Lei Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research, said Spotify is making these changes because its approach is too costly.
“It’s really a question of supply and demand,” Wang said. “Too many podcasts, too few viewers.”
“We are frustrated by the mismanagement that has brought us here,” unionized Gimlet and Percast employees said in a statement. Employees at the Writers Guild of the East said the team was given little direction and many podcasts were exclusive to Spotify, limiting the revenue they could generate.
“Gimlet and Percast were visionary studios that helped shape our industry,” said an employee. “It remains to be seen if Spotify Studios has a vision.”
Spotify’s El-Habasi said the company has expanded its analytics capabilities to “innovate in formats and consume from a large audience that we’ve established through ensuring more creators succeed in more places.” said to maximize
Bill Simmons will continue to operate The Ringer, which produces sports, entertainment and pop culture podcasts, as a separate studio and will be responsible for podcast innovation and monetization.
Spotify’s top five podcasts in the US include “The Joe Rogan Experience” and “Call Her Daddy.”
“We are expanding our partnership efforts with leading podcasters around the world with an approach optimized for each show and creator,” Elhabashi wrote. “This radical shift away from a more unified proposal will allow the creator to better support his community.”
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