Spotify to layoff 2% of its workforce amid ‘strategic realignment’ drive

Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Elk
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Spotify has announced plans to lay off 200 staff amid a ‘strategic realignment’ of the firm’s podcast division.

Sahar Elhabashi, VP and head of Spotify’s podcast division confirmed the layoffs, which equate to around 2% of the workforce, in a statement on Monday.

“We have made the difficult but necessary decision to make a strategic realignment of our group and reduce our global podcast vertical and other functions by approximately 200 people, or 2% of Spotify’s workforce,” Elhabashi told staff.

“Unfortunately, this means saying goodbye to close colleagues and friends. We know news like this is never easy, especially for those impacted. These decisions are not something we take lightly. I want to express my appreciation for everything those leaving have done for podcasting and Spotify.”


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Elhabashi revealed that staff impacted by the cuts will be notified by members of the Spotify HR team, and that those affected “have already received an invite for a 1:1 conversation”.

Staff made redundant will also receive “generous severance packages, including extended healthcare coverage and immediate access to outplacement support”.

The workforce cuts come as Spotify embarks on the “next phase” of its podcast content strategy and in spite of a strong performance from the division in recent years.

Since 2019, podcast consumption on the platform has surged more than 1400%, according to the firm. Podcast content has also increased from 200,000 titles to over 5 million.

Similarly, podcast ad revenue experienced “high double-digit growth” from 2021 to 2022, the company said in its statement, and is now the most-used audio podcast platform in “most corners of the world”.

Elhabashi said that the next stage of its strategy will focus on “delivering even more value for creators” and will enable the firm to maximize audience consumption.

Part of this will include a “broadening” of the company’s analytics capabilities by expanding the Spotify for Podcasters scheme. Elhabashi said this will enable creators using the platform to “maximize their audience” and place a strong focus on “leveling up” the platform’s advertising revenue.

“Underpinning this effort is a continued leveling up of our advertising offerings and the introduction of more business models to help more creators make meaningful money from their work.”

This latest batch of workforce cuts follows a previous round in January, which saw the firm slash 6% of its workforce, or around 600 employees.

At the time, Spotify cited uncertain economic conditions as the primary motivation behind the cuts as consumers and advertisers scaled back spending. 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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