Spotify is shutting down the podcast studio of the same name

Spotify is dismantling its founding podcast studio and laying off some team members. Affected employee says the edge Studio 4, or Spotify Studios as it was externally referred to, has 10 to 15 employees and has produced shows like anatomy And Chapo: Kingpin on trial. Spotify contacted the affected employees on Friday and said their last days would be January 21. They will receive compensation for two months. Some employees have been reassigned while others have been laid off and pointed to Spotify’s job board. The head of the studio, Gina Delvac, was also abandoned.

Spotify declined to comment. In a note to Spotify employees he obtained the edgeHowever, Julie McNamara, head of US studios and video, acknowledged the layoffs and said closing the studio would enable the company to “move faster, make more important progress, and facilitate more effective collaboration across our organization.”

For a company that shares news of their podcast endeavors anywhere, Studio 4 rarely appears in the press. (I have documented one general use of it.) However, Studio 4 Do They sometimes appear in earnings reports as Spotify Studios. It was Spotify’s first podcast studio built and made up of all the employees who worked in podcasting prior to the company’s major network acquisitions. Additional staff were later hired, but the initial batch helped prove the podcast business model and listener interest in shows like Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls 1 Keith, says a former employee who requested anonymity due to ongoing work in the industry.

The team eventually finished off Spotify’s in-house studio offerings, including its three acquired networks: Parcast, Gimlet, and The Ringer. Studio 4’s name is literal, as is Spotify’s Studio 4. It’s also, as one Spotify employee put it to me, an “insult” to the people who work there, given the lack of brand identity or mission statement. They say it often worked like a “junk staircase” for projects that didn’t find a home within the other three networks.

“When you have Studio 4 it’s like, ‘Well, if all these boxes are really checked by all these other studios, where does that really leave us,’ and so I felt like there was no clear mandate on what Studio 4 was supposed to do,” says the affected employee.

Although the studio did not have its own clear initiatives, its content covered music and artists as well as celebrity deals and influencer-hosted content.

“A lot of the successes of Spotify Studios have never been expressed because leadership has always been conflicting,” says the former employee, noting that Liz Gately previously ran the studio but was then transferred to a new role. Delvac took over, and in September McNamara was appointed to oversee the team. Courtney Holt, Vice President of Global Podcasts, previously held this position. (Above Holt and McNamara sits Don Ostroff, chief content and advertising officer.)

“I’ve never heard anyone mention Studio 4 by name or refer to any of the work or shows we’ve done as something to celebrate,” says the affected employee. “We are intentionally ignored in the explanations for metrics and growth and listening and all of that stuff.”

“When you’re a year into that… where you’re behind the scenes, creating things, and you don’t get the love or shine that other studios get, I think that causes a lot of the right thoughts to go through your mind like, ‘Hey, what What the top level of Spotify’s executive community is thinking about the studio, what we’re doing, and how they can easily sweep it under the rug, “which is what they ended up doing,” adds the former employee.

The team recently produced shows like Curious neighbors said what we saidAnd And Doping Labs. A former employee says that one of the offers, Winds of Change, produced under the studio, but then handed over to Gimlet to oversee the next release in partnership with Pineapple Street Studios – Welcome to your imagination. they say Successes are abandoned.

Since the inception of Studio 4, Spotify has spent millions not only buying new studios and networks, but also securing high-profile deals with big podcast names like Joe Rogan and Alex Cooper of Call her fatherand Dax Shepard armchair expert. It is also focusing heavily on its advertising technology with its acquisition of hosting company Megaphone, which has been the focus of most of the company’s advertising in the past year. However, Spotify did not share figures on the performance of the acquired entities.

Although Spotify says more podcasts than ever before on its platform, this August interested in trade The report said that Gimlet itself is struggling to grow within the tech company due to “unclear strategy” and “internal tensions”. It had the lowest number of all four studios in terms of hours of consumption in the September 2020 leaked metrics. Meanwhile, a edge The report found that Spotify-licensed exclusives, specifically Joe Rogan’s show, may have lost a significant portion of their audience in the move to the platform.

At the moment, Spotify has not said how the partner programs will be produced in the future and what will happen to the shows that are currently in production. the anatomy a team Twitter took over After publishing this story, though, let’s say the show will continue to be produced by Spotify. It’s also clear that the original programming will live within the three networks that Spotify has purchased, but the closure of Studio 4 shows that Spotify hasn’t been able to build a completely independent production team from scratch.

When asked about the studio’s biggest show, or what people should know, the affected employee couldn’t name one.

Correction January 11, 8:59 a.m. ET: This article previously mentioned that Julie McNamara worked under Courtney Holt. This was incorrect. Holt previously only held the McNamara job, and now he leads a separate team.

Update Jan 11 11:42AM ET: This article has been updated to include a comment from Dissect about its viewing status.

Correction January 11 at 11:42 a.m. ET: This article previously mentioned that Studio 4 worked on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Spotify Holiday Special; This was incorrect. The company says only Gimlet worked on this program. We are sorry for the error.

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