No one is unaware that, for Spotify, the weight of podcasts in the final proposal of the service to the user is increasing. Just a few days ago we echoed that, in terms of musical offer, Apple Music had crossed the threshold of 100 million songs. It is true, as I commented at the time, that Apple not only has a lot of muscle, but also a close relationship with the music industry for almost two decades, but it is no less true that, for a long time and still today, Spotify is the reference in the sector.
As I say, however, partly after evaluating the use made by their subscribers, and also possibly to face what they saw as a growing and threatening competition, they decided, still keeping music as the main content of the service, put the spotlight on podcasts, more or less when we can say that the second great advent of this communication format began to take place. It seemed like a pretty smart move, and to this day, overall it seems to have worked very well.
A clear example of this can be found in the company’s response to Apple Podcast+renunciating all economic benefit, in order to attract more creators who might otherwise opt for Apple’s pay service to monetize their recordings. In this way, at least in my opinion, Spotify gave the impression of being more concerned/interested in strengthening its position against Apple in the podcast market than in the music market. And I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, mind you, it’s not a criticism or a compliment, just a reading of the situation.
This, of course, invited us to think that the profitability of podcasts was a driving force within the Swedish company, but today, for the first time, we see a movement that leads us to think that not everything is so positive. And it is that, as we can read on gadget, Spotify is shutting down 11 original podcastscreated in their Gimlet and Parcast studios, in the first movement in the company’s history in which several “in-house” productions were closed at the same time.
Additionally, closures will also lead to layoffs, encrypted by the company as less than 5% of the Spotify podcast team, and to which will be added the reassignment of some of said workers, to other podcasts. Additionally, new CEOs have also been appointed for both Gimlet and Parcast. Spotify Studios and The Ringer, for their part, remain intact for the time being.
From a purely numerical perspective, we are talking about a movement that makes sense, since the closed podcasts were not, of course, the most popular, and we must remember that Spotify has more than 500 original and exclusive podcasts. However, the fact that for the first time in its history the company eliminates no less than eleven at a stroke, invites us to think that Spotify would be thinking of moderating its bet.