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Spotify is laying off 2% of its workforce

Spotify announced an updated podcasting strategy along with layoffs on Monday.
Spotify is laying off 2% of its workforce
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jun 05, 2023

Spotify is cutting 200 employees from its podcasting unit, which represents 2% of its workforce.

The streaming company's head of podcast business, Sahar Elhabashi, announced "the difficult but necessary decision to make a strategic realignment" Monday in a newsroom statement. She also noted the employees involved will get "generous severance packages," extended health care coverage and immediate access to outplacement support.

It's the second time this year the company has announced layoffs. In January, it cut 600 jobs, joining multiple other tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft in layoffs that month.

Monday's layoff news was grouped with other changes coming to Spotify's podcast business, like the merging of Parcast and Gimlet networks into one Spotify Studios operation.

Spotify said this new phase of podcast strategy would be more focused on creators, to ensure more of them can be successful on the platform. That means expanding its analytics capabilities, increasing advertising offerings and tailoring partnerships to each show and creator instead of having a uniform approach. 

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"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," Elhabashi said in the statement.

Spotify is the No. 1 podcast publisher in the U.S. and is the most-used audio podcast platform in most areas globally, it said in the note. More than 100 million people listen to podcasts on Spotify, and consumption has grown more than 1,400% since the company invested in the space.

Podcasting has been a booming business in recent years, with both people and companies jumping in to create or invest in the opportunity.

According to Statista, only 22% of U.S. adults knew about podcasting in 2006, and by 2022, the number had risen to 79%. In 2023, data from Infinite Dial showed 64% of Americans had listened to a podcast at least once — a percentage that has been rising since 2014. And Buzzsprout's data says people are heading to Apple Podcasts the most with 37.3%, and Spotify second with 29%.

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