Spotify, one of the major players in the music industry, is shutting down its first podcast studio and laying off some of its employees. Studio 4, or Spotify Studios as it’s been referred to as outside, had 10 to 15 staff and created episodes including Dissect and Chapo: Kingpin on Trial, according to one impacted employee. On Friday, Spotify notified impacted staff that their final days would be January 21st. They’ll be paid severance for two months. Some workers were relocated, while others were fired and told to look for work on Spotify’s website. Gina Delvac, the studio’s head, was also fired.
No Comments From Spotify Concerning the Closure
The music industry giant has refused to comment on the matter. Julie McNamara, head of US studios and video, accepted the layoffs in a message to Spotify employees derived by The Verge and said closing the studio would allow the company to “move faster and make more significant progress and facilitate more effective collaboration across our organization.”
Studio 4 was seldom mentioned in the press, despite being a corporation that spreads word of its podcasting activities wherever it can. Studio 4 does, however, appear in earnings reports as Spotify Studios on occasion. It was Spotify’s original podcasting studio, and it included all of the company’s podcasting personnel before the company’s significant network additions. More staff were recruited later with episodes like Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls 1 Boy, but the first crew helped confirm the podcasting business model and audience enthusiasm. According to a former employee who requested anonymity owing to current employment in the sector, Keith.
Spotify’s in-house studio services, including its three purchased networks: Parcast, Gimlet, and The Ringer, were finally completed by the team. Studio 4 gets its name because it is Spotify’s fourth studio. It’s also “insulting” to the individuals who work there, as one Spotify employee described it since it lacks a corporate identity or mission statement. According to them, it frequently served as a “trash drawer” for initiatives that couldn’t find a place on the other three networks.
The studio’s output spanned music and musicians and celebrity partnerships and influencer-hosted material, even though it didn’t have its own defined ambitions.
“A lot of the triumphs that Spotify Studios had were never really vocalized since the leadership was continually churning,” the former employee adds, noting that Liz Gately used to run the studio before being shifted into a different job. Delvac took control, and McNamara was appointed to lead the club in September. Previously, Courtney Holt, VP of worldwide podcasting, held the position. (Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising officer sits above Holt and McNamara.
Nosy Neighbors, We Said What We Said, and Dope Labs are just a few of the shows that the crew has lately created. According to the former employee, the company produced one episode, Wind of Change, but was then turned over to Gimlet to manage the Pineapple Street Studios partnership’s next release, Welcome to Your Fantasy. It’s been said that success was handed away.
Spotify has invested millions in additional studios and networks since the launch of Studio 4 and on high-profile collaborations with famous podcasting personalities like Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper of Call Her Daddy, and Dax Shepard of Armchair Expert. With the purchase of hosting business Megaphone, which was the centerpiece of most of the company’s announcements this year, it’s also focusing aggressively on its ad technology. On the other hand, Spotify hasn’t provided any figures on the performance of its purchased businesses.
Even though the podcast studio claims to have more podcasts than ever, according to a Business Insider piece from August, Gimlet has failed to develop inside the tech business owing to “unclear strategy” and “internal disagreements.” Leaked figures for September 2020 had the lowest statistics of all four studios in terms of usage hours. Meanwhile, according to a Verge story, Spotify’s licensed exclusives, notably Joe Rogan’s program, may have lost a significant portion of their viewership due to the platform’s adoption.
Spotify hasn’t indicated how partner programs will be created in the future or what will happen to shows presently in development. After this report was published, the Dissect crew turned to Twitter to declare that the program would continue to be produced with Spotify. Original content will undoubtedly continue to air on the three networks Spotify purchased. Still, Studio 4’s closure demonstrates that Spotify could not create a fully autonomous production crew from the ground up.
When asked, the impacted employee couldn’t identify the podcast studio’s biggest program or what people should know about.