Spotify’s latest blog post starts with some big, positive numbers about its podcasting business.
It now has more than 100 million podcast listeners and 5m shows on its platform; it’s the top publisher of podcasts in the US; and its podcast ad revenues saw “high double-digit growth” in 2022.
If you saw a ‘but…’ moment coming then give yourself a pat on the back: the post also outlines a shift in Spotify’s strategy, including laying off around 200 people – 2% of the company’s workforce.
The company is also merging two of its podcast-production acquisitions, Parcast and Gimlet, into a “renewed Spotify Studios operation”. A joint statement from Gimlet and Parcast’s unions took Spotify to task following the decision.
“We’re frustrated by the mismanagement that led us here,” they claimed.
“When Spotify purchased Gimlet and Parcast for nearly $300 million, they acquired an incredible group of talented people with specific and marketable skills. Then, they wasted that opportunity: canceling shows with dedicated audiences, leaving half-finished projects to die on the vine, and giving teams little direction as to what they actually wanted to see produced.”
Ouch. The layoffs follow a wider round of redundancies affecting around 6% of Spotify’s workforce in January.