Spotify cancels 11 original podcasts, lays off under 5% of podcast staff

Spotify is pulling 11 original podcasts from the platform, which will impact studios Parcast and Gimlet and involve less than 5% layoffs from Spotify’s podcast staff, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to TechCrunch. Spotify will also reassign some staff to other podcasts, we understand.

Reached for comment, Spotify said it does not comment publicly on staffing changes.

Over the next couple of months, podcasts leaving the platform include Gimlet’s “How to Save a Planet,” “Crime Show,” “Every Little Thing,” as well as Parcast’s “Medical Murders,” “Female Criminals,” “Crimes of Passion,” “Dictator,” “Mythology,” “Haunted Places” and “Urban Legends.”

In the second quarter of 2023, Spotify will also say goodbye to “Horoscope Today.”

In an internal note, chief content officer of Spotify, Dawn Ostroff, and Julie McNamara, head of U.S. studios and video, wrote that Nicole Beemsterboer will become Gimlet’s new managing director, the source familiar with the matter shared. Liliana Kim has been brought on as the new managing director of Parcast.

This is the first time Spotify has made a group cancellation of podcasts. The move was likely made to help strengthen its slate of original and exclusive (O&E) podcasts, which include hit shows “Batman Unburied,” “Call Her Daddy” and the newly released Kim Kardashian’s “The System: The Case of Kevin Keith.”

Similar to cancellations in the TV industry, Spotify appears to be weeding out the duds. This could make room for the several upcoming O&E (original and exclusive) titles that the company intends to announce in the weeks and months ahead, we hear.

Overall, the music streaming platform has a total of 500+ O&E podcasts produced across its four in-house studios, Spotify Studios, The Ringer, Parcast and Gimlet.

The cancellations didn’t impact Spotify Studios and The Ringer.

Last month, Spotify launched over 300,000 audiobooks, a new feature that puts the company in direct competition with top audiobook providers Audible, Audiobooks, Google and Nook, among others.

Updated 10/6/22 at 5:38 p.m. ET. with Spotify’s internal note to staff.