Spotify Cutting 200 Jobs, Combining Gimlet And Parcast In “Fundamental Pivot” Of Podcast Operations

Spotify is cutting 200 jobs, about 2% of its workforce, in a revamp of its podcast business.

Sahar Elhabashi, VP, Head of Podcast Business, outlined the plans in a blog post.

“We are expanding our partnership efforts with leading podcasters from across the globe with a tailored approach optimized for each show and creator,” the exec explained. “This fundamental pivot from a more uniform proposition will allow us to support the creator community better. However, doing so requires adapting.”

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The cuts follow a larger staff reduction earlier this year, when 6% of the total workforce (then at 9,800) left the company. One prominent departure amid those layoffs was Dawn Ostroff, a TV industry veteran and former head of Condé Nast Entertainment who had signed a number of pricey and high-profile talent deals during her tenure at Spotify.

In recent months, a number of prominent podcast names have left Spotify, among them Jemele Hill, Brené Brtown, Esther Perel and and Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground.

The new round of cutbacks, Elhabashi explained, do not indicate a step-back from originals. “As a key component of our focus on creators, we remain committed to original programming,” he wrote. “As part of this next phase, we will be combining Parcast and Gimlet into a renewed Spotify Studios operation that will continue to produce a wide range of high-impact originals, including Stolen, The Journal, Science Vs, Heavyweight, Serial Killers, and Conspiracy Theories.” Spotify Studios and The Ringer, he added, will “greenlight new shows with an increased focus on always-on programming that drives strong, loyal audiences and attracts advertisers.”

A new executive structure was announced along with the 2% cuts.

Julie McNamara, VP, Head of Global Podcast Studios, will continue to oversee Spotify Studios, with Liliana Kim in charge of Current Content for the studios alongside Liz Gateley, who will assume the title of head of development. Bill Simmons, who sold The Ringer to Spotify in 2020, will continue as Managing Director of The Ringer and Head of Podcast Innovation and Monetization.

Elhabashi said the company will “continue to expand our teams that support creator partnerships” under Bryan Thoensen, Head of Content Partnerships.

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