One other week, one other spherical of layoffs. This time, it’s Spotify. CEO Daniel Ek knowledgeable workers yesterday morning that the corporate could be slicing 6 p.c of its workforce and mentioned he took “full accountability for the strikes that obtained us right here as we speak.” Probably the most high-profile change is the departure of chief content material and promoting officer Daybreak Ostroff. And whereas no further reveals have been reduce, promoting and enterprise workers, notably below Podsights and Chartable, have been laid off almost a yr after Spotify acquired each firms.
Plus (and I’m totally conscious of how incongruous that is, apologies), we’ve got some extra bulletins for Scorching Pod Summit.
After years of podcast acquisitions, Spotify goes lean
Spotify constructed itself into the most important power within the podcast trade by sheer power of will (and capital), spending greater than $1 billion buying studios, publishers, and promoting tech. It has additionally relied on veteran leisure government Daybreak Ostroff for the final 4 years to supervise blockbuster offers that introduced hits like Joe Rogan Expertise, Name Her Daddy, and Batman Unburied completely to the platform. Now, as a part of its companywide layoffs, Spotify is popping to consolidation.
Ostroff is out of her personal accord, in response to Ek’s letter. Taking up her content material and advertisements vertical is subscriptions chief Alex Norstrom, who’s now chief enterprise officer. Speak content material heads Julie McNamara, Max Cutler, and Invoice Simmons will report back to Norstrom.
“Working collectively, our podcasting group has revolutionized the area,” Ostroff mentioned in a company memo yesterday. “This group’s trajectory has been astonishing, going from virtually zero market share and a handful of podcasts, to the main platform with greater than 5 million podcasts as we speak and a 30x improve in podcast consumption on the platform.”
However (and this can be a massive however), Norstrom shouldn’t be a content material man. Going from having somebody like Ostroff, together with her deep Hollywood roots, to a extra typical tech government like Nostrom is inevitably going to lead to a shift in how the enterprise works. Maybe McNamara, Cutler, and Simmons can have extra autonomy — or may very well be hemmed in by a tighter funds.
Other than Ostroff, the content material facet has prevented the worst of the cuts this time round. It doesn’t seem that any further reveals have been reduce, however that’s in all probability as a result of these groups have been hit exhausting again in October.
“We stay dedicated to constructing on our success in podcasting, delivering revolutionary options for creators, and persevering with to spend money on O&E podcasts,” Spotify spokesperson Rosa Oh informed Scorching Pod.
On the advert and enterprise facet, the brand new layoffs have been extra deeply felt. Staff that had come to Spotify as a part of Podsights and Chartable final yr have been among the many divisions hit by layoffs. The acquisition of these two firms gave Spotify a larger functionality of measuring how reveals have been acting on the platform and put it in a greater place to promote advertisements. And it’s working — the corporate grew its advert income by 26 p.c within the first 9 months of 2022 in comparison with the identical interval in 2021.
However these acquisitions added extra workers in related roles to those that already labored at Spotify, notably from its 2020 acquisition of Megaphone. There was “a number of repetition in job capabilities,” in response to one particular person affected by the layoffs who requested to not be named so they may freely focus on their former employer.
It goes to the bigger problem that Spotify nonetheless has to discover a method to make its many podcast enterprise acquisitions — Anchor, Megaphone, Podsights, Chartable — work in concord. In accordance with the identical former worker, that has not occurred but: “They don’t have an precise technique for his or her podcasts but. There are all these totally different tech stacks.”
One other Spotify worker impacted by the cuts felt equally. “There was a number of confusion about how every thing was imagined to work collectively,” they mentioned, additionally asking to stay nameless so they may discuss their former employer.
Whereas the 600 workers who misplaced their jobs yesterday attempt to choose up the items, the corporate should determine as soon as extra how the leaner group will work. And whereas layoffs are at all times destabilizing, they didn’t come as a whole shock, both. I’m listening to that within the months main as much as the cuts, workers have been informed to restrict enterprise journey to mission-critical occasions and noticed reductions of their meal and health stipends. In the meantime, those that stay should make do with the staffing that they’ve — Spotify has eliminated all of its job postings apart from internships.
Scorching Pod Summit provides one other thrilling visitor — and a dwell podcast recording
Scorching Pod Summit is developing subsequent month, and we’ve obtained one other thrilling piece of programming information to share with you all: Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia’s Digital Audio Group, will be a part of us for an in-depth interview with Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel. The interview will probably be a dwell recording of Decoder, a weekly podcast from The Verge that asks executives, innovators, and policymakers how they make choices and the place their industries are headed. We’re excited to have the ability to host that dialog at Scorching Pod Summit and attempt to reply some massive questions on the minds of many throughout the trade.
If you happen to’ve acquired an invite to Scorching Pod Summit, a fast reminder that as we speak is the final day we are able to assure your spot on the convention earlier than we open up slots to further visitors.
And if you happen to’d like to return however aren’t already on the listing, please fill out our kind right here by finish of day as we speak to tell us you’re .
Scorching Pod Summit is a part of work x work’s On Air Fest, the premier cultural occasion for audio creatives and impressed listeners. This yr’s inventive pageant is being held February twenty third–twenty fifth at Wythe Resort in Brooklyn, that includes Audie Cornish, Kara Swisher, Talib Kweli, Krista Tippett, John Cameron Mitchell, Craig Finn, Kevin Morby, and particular periods with Audible, Paramount, Matter Studios, Simplecast, Stitcher, Pushkin and Vox Media Podcast Community, and extra. You possibly can study extra and purchase single and two-day tickets at www.onairfest.com. Plus, On Air is internet hosting the first-ever podcast fan expertise with exhibitions and immersive rooms by Radiolab, On Being, My Favourite Homicide, and extra. The Podcast Expertise runs all day February twenty third–twenty sixth. Tickets at www.experiencepodcasts.com
That’s all for now. I will probably be out subsequent week, so you may be listening to from Jake.