Spotify is shutting down its in-house podcast studio

Spotify Mac Podcasts Screenshot
Spotify Mac Podcasts Screenshot (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Spotify is shutting down its in-house podcast studio.
  • The studio is called Studio 4, or Spotify Studios as the company also sometimes calls it.
  • Employees have been told that their last day will be January 21.

As companies continue to dive into the world of podcasts it seems that one is working to get out of it, at least partially. Music streamer Spotify is closing down its own in-house podcast studio and laying off all employees who can't find jobs elsewhere within the company.

According to a The Verge report, some employees have already been reassigned while others have been pointed towards the company's job board. The studio itself is one that Spotify seems to have regularly forgotten existed and actually went by two names — internally, it was dubbed Studio 4 while externally it was sometimes referred to as Spotify Studios.

Spotify has yet to officially confirm the move to the press, but The Verge was able to get hold of a note that explained the situation to team members.

Spotify declined to comment. In a note to Spotify staff obtained by The Verge, however, Julie McNamara, head of US studios and video, acknowledged the layoffs and said shutting the studio down would enable the company to "move faster and make more significant progress and facilitate more effective collaboration across our organization."

While Spotify has spent huge sums of money on its podcast game, the Studio 4 outfit was one that was rarely discussed. That sounds like something that should perhaps have been a sign that the writing was on the door with the team finding itself being a "junk drawer" for projects that didn't fit elsewhere rather than one that had a real place within the company.

The Verge again:

The team eventually rounded out Spotify's in-house studio offerings, including its three acquired networks: Parcast, Gimlet, and The Ringer. The Studio 4 name is literal, as in it's the fourth studio at Spotify. It's also, as one Spotify employee put it to me, "insulting" to the people who work there, given that it has no brand identity or mission statement. They say it often operated more like a "junk drawer" for projects that didn't find a home within the other three networks."When you have Studio 4, it's like, 'Well, if all of these boxes are already checked by all of these other studios, then where does that really leave us,' and so it felt to me like there was no clear mandate of what Studio 4 was supposed to do," the affected employee says.

None of that sounds like a great situation to be in. Meanwhile, Spotify is the best iPhone podcast app around if you want to watch its exclusive content. Otherwise, there are plenty more to choose from.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.