The Future. Spotify is culling the podcaster herd, letting go of employees, slimming down deals, and merging its acquisitions. Although the company says it’s still very committed to the form, the slim-down shows that Spotify’s era of rapid podcast growth is transitioning into one all about making it a sustainable business.
Listening for reality
Spotify is streamlining its podcast output.
- The streamer is cutting 2% of its workforce — about 200 jobs.
- It’s combining two of its acquisitions, Parcast and Gimlet, into Spotify Studios.
- Spotify says that originals are still the company’s ultimate focus, but it wants more “always-on programming that drives strong, loyal audiences and attracts advertisers.” In other words, it wants a lot more engagement.
The moves follow what has been a general toning down of its podcast ambitions, including letting several top creators walk away from deals (Jemele Hill, the Obamas, Brené Brown) and the sacking of Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff, who was behind several of those pricey, high-profile deals.
It’s possible that the podcasting gold-rush days are finally behind us. Welcome to a maturing industry.