Spotify is laying off 200 employees from its podcast division

The streaming giant is also combining Gimlet and Parcast into one team.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Spotify isn't done with layoffs this year. The company is cutting 200 jobs in its podcast division, or about 2 percent of its workforce, as part of a "strategic realignment." Spotify is moving to a more "tailored approach" that optimizes resources for each podcast creator and their shows, and the streaming service believes this requires a leaner team.

The new strategy will also see Spotify merge its Gimlet and Parcast production houses into an updated Spotify Studios unit. They'll continue to produce well-known originals and start new shows, although there will be a new emphasis on frequent content that fosters large audiences. Spotify as a whole will work on "maximizing consumption" from the existing audience, encouraging them to listen more often and to more podcasts. The firm is also growing its Spotify For Podcasters analytics, refining its ad options and adding "more business models" to help creators profit.

The provider is keen to tout its growth since it started investing heavily in podcasts in 2019, including the acquisitions of Gimlet, Parcast and the creator platform Anchor. It now claims to be the most popular podcast platform in "most corners" of the planet, with over 100 million listeners and 5 million shows. Usage has grown over 1,400 percent, Spotify says. It also says it's the top publisher in the US.

Even so, the layoffs add to a string of blows for the company. Spotify reportedly dropped numerous shows last fall, shedding nearly 5 percent of its podcast team in the process. The service also laid off 6 percent of its total staff in January, with chief content officer Dawn Ostroff (credited with growing podcast content 40-fold) stepping down at the same time. There have also been difficulties with the content itself, including misinformation concerns with Spotify exclusive The Joe Rogan Experience. The company may be a powerhouse in the category, but it's no longer as secure as it once was.