Spotify Closes the Doors on Its Original Podcast Production House


In a move that has surprised followers of the audio streaming battlefield, Spotify has decided to shutter its pioneering podcast studio, resulting in employee layoffs. The studio, known internally as Studio 4 and externally as Spotify Studios, employed a dedicated group between 10 to 15 creating popular shows such as Dissect and Chapo: Kingpin on Trial. An affected team member disclosed that layoffs were announced on Friday, with the affected employees marking January 21st as their last working day, severance being paid for two months. Some of the crew were reassigned, but many were let go, with suggestions to seek new opportunities via Spotify’s job portal. Gina Delvac, who oversaw the studio, was among those dismissed.

Spotify Maintains Silence on Studio’s Dissolution

Remaining tight-lipped, the audio streaming behemoth has offered no commentary on the unexpected decision. Julie McNamara, who helms US studios and video, affirmed the downsizing to Spotify’s team members in a memo intercepted by The Verge, explaining that this move made way for the company to accelerate and achieve more meaningful strides and promote better synergy within the organization.

Despite Studio 4’s low media profile, it occasionally surfaced in financial disclosures under the moniker Spotify Studios. It was a foundational component of Spotify’s podcasting ventures and housed all podcast-related staff before the expansion of Spotify’s network. With initial contributions from the likes of ‘Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls 1 Keith,’ the early team paved the way for validation of the podcasting market and audience engagement. A source preferring anonymity, due to ongoing ties to the industry, underscored that Keith.

Spotify music industry

The close-knit team also eventually supported Spotify’s in-house studio operations for its acquired networks: Parcast, Gimlet, and The Ringer. The studio’s designation, Studio 4, signified its rank as the fourth studio in Spotify’s collection. The lack of a distinct corporate identity or mission led to it being labeled pejoratively by employees as a “miscellaneous drawer,” often receiving projects not suited for its sister networks.

Studio 4’s creative output was diversified, ranging from music-centric podcasts to star-studded collaborations and influencer narratives, despite having no clear direction. “The studio’s achievements seldom made headlines, as leadership kept revolving,” lamented the past employee, recalling how former leads like Liz Gateley and Courtney Holt managed before McNamara’s recent appointment overseeing the studio’s direction. Underneath McNamara and previously Holt, Dawn Ostroff stands as the chief content and advertising executive.

Among the fresh endeavors from the studio were Nosy Neighbors, We Said What We Said, and Dope Labs. One striking success was the ‘Wind of Change’ series which, post-creation, was transitioned to another network, Gimlet, for future installations in collaboration with Pineapple Street Studios. The perception was that Spotify gifted away potential success.

Having already invested considerably in other studios and networks, as well as forging deals with big names in podcasting like Joe Rogan and Dax Shepard, Spotify has shifted significant focus to optimizing its ad technology, particularly through the acquisition of the hosting service Megaphone. However, concrete performance details regarding these investments remain undisclosed by Spotify.

Turning the Page

Despite Studio 4’s wind-down, Spotify claims a bustling portfolio of podcasts. Internal conflict and ambiguity in strategy have apparently hindered the growth within tech conglomerate confines, as reported by a Business Insider piece. Comparatively, usage stats expose Studio 4 as the least engaged among its peers. According to a report by The Verge, there’s also speculation about a viewership decline in Spotify’s licensed exclusives after migration to the platform.

The fate of partner-produced content and ongoing projects in limbo remain unclear. However, in the wake of this news, the Dissect team took to Twitter to affirm the show’s continuity under Spotify’s wing. Despite the closure of Studio 4, it’s evident that content production will carry on within Spotify’s acquired networks, yet the shuttering symbolizes the complexities and challenges of nurturing an in-house production team autonomously.

In reflection, what stands out most about the podcast studio remains a point of ambiguity, according to those directly impacted by its closure.

Share post:




More like this

Excitement Buildup as Asus ZenFone 9 Footage Surfaces Unexpectedly

Amidst the intense competition for superiority in the smartphone...

Setting Up Windows on Your Steam Deck: A Step-by-Step Guide

The gaming universe has long contemplated the possibility of...

Apple’s Next-Level Augmented Reality Unveils the RoomPlan API for Groundbreaking Interior Redesigns

The latest brainchild of Apple’s Swift API, RoomPlan, is...

Is Your Smartphone Secretly Archiving Your Conversations?

Think your smartphone is perpetually preserving every word you...