Spotify may be tempering its podcast push. A TechCrunch source claims the streaming service is cutting 11 original podcasts from its Gimlet and Parcast studios, including How to Save a Planet, Crimes of Passion and (in the second quarter of 2023) Horoscope Today. The cancellations will also involve layoffs of "less than" 5 percent of Spotify's podcast team, with some workers moving to other podcasts.
The company said it doesn't comment on employee changes. The shakeup has also seen Spotify assign new managing directors for both Gimlet and Parcast, the source said. Spotify Studios and The Ringer remain untouched.
This is the first time Spotify has axed multiple podcasts at the same time. While the reported insider didn't know the exact reasoning behind the move, it's thought that the service is dropping underperforming shows to help it concentrate on full-fledged exclusives, ranging from existing hits like Batman Unburied through to upcoming projects.
A pruning effort like this isn't surprising, if true. Spotify has over 500 original and exclusive podcasts, and they're not all guaranteed to build strong audiences. The strategy could not only help Spotify improve its focus, but cut costs at a time when many tech companies are either slowing new hires or laying off staff in droves.