Spotify, the music streaming giant, announced today that it plans to lay off 6% of its workforce, affecting around 600 employees, in the latest round of layoffs in the technology sector. The company also announced that it would take a related charge of up to nearly $50 million. This move comes as the tech industry is facing a downturn in demand following two years of pandemic-driven growth, leading to job cuts at companies such as Meta and Microsoft.
According to Spotify CEO Daniel Elk, the company has made a considerable effort to cut costs over the past few months, but it simply hasn’t been enough. He stated, “I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth.” This sentiment is echoed by other tech leaders who have also been faced with the difficult decision of layoffs in recent months.
Spotify’s operating expenditure grew at twice the speed of its revenue last year as the company poured money into its podcast business, which is more attractive to advertisers due to higher engagement levels. However, businesses have pulled back on ad spending on the platform, mirroring a trend seen at Meta and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., as rapid interest rate hikes and the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war pressured the economy.
In order to cut costs and adjust to the deteriorating economic picture, Spotify is now restructuring the company. As part of this restructuring, Dawn Ostroff, the head of content and advertising, is leaving the company after an over four-year stint. Ostroff played a significant role in shaping Spotify’s podcast business and guided the company through the backlash around Joe Rogan’s show for allegedly spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
Spotify has appointed Alex Norström, head of the freemium business, and research and development boss Gustav Söderström as co-presidents. The company hopes that these changes will help it navigate the current economic climate and position itself for future growth.
In the current economic climate, it’s not only Spotify, but many other companies are facing a difficult time. The pandemic-induced recession is causing many companies to re-evaluate their spending and cut costs wherever possible. While these layoffs are never easy, they are a necessary step for companies to ensure their survival in the current economic climate. It’s a reminder that even the most successful companies are not immune to the effects of a recession, and it’s important for all of us to be prepared for the possibility of difficult times ahead.