Spotify has shut down Studio 4, its internal podcast studio group, a move that will result in as many as 15 staffers being laid off or redeployed into other divisions.
A source familiar with the situation confirmed the closure of Spotify Studios’ Studio 4, first reported by tech site The Verge. Asked for an official statement, a Spotify rep declined to comment.
The in-house podcast studio, referred to inside the company as Studio 4, was an arm of Spotify’s original podcast content operations, alongside the audio streamer’s trio of acquired studios: Gimlet, Parcast and The Ringer. Studio 4 was like a “junk drawer” for projects that didn’t fit in elsewhere, a former Spotify employee told the Verge.
The group had about 15 full-time staffers. Some are being moved into or offered positions with Gimlet, Parcast or The Ringer; others are being pink-slipped in the restructuring.
Julie McNamara, the former Paramount Plus programming boss who recently joined Spotify as head of U.S. studios and video, announced the shutdown of Studio 4 in a memo to employees. By shutting down the in-house studio group, Spotify will be able to “move faster and make more significant progress and facilitate more effective collaboration across our organization,” according to McNamara’s memo.
Spotify’s Studio 4 produced a slate of podcasts including “Dope Labs,” “Dissect,” “Infamous,” “LOUD: The History of Reggaeton,” “We Said What We Said,” “Nosy Neighbors,” “Complex Subject,” “Bandsplain” and “Can We Be Friends?” The studio also produced shows including “Spotify: Discover This” and “Spotify: Mic Check” to highlight content trends, artists and creators on the streaming service.
Among the Spotify employees affected by the move was Gina Delvac, the L.A.-based head of Studio 4, who will transition into a consulting role for the company. Delvac is also founding producer of long-running podcast show “Call Your Girlfriend,” according to her website.
Spotify has made podcasts a major strategic priority, investing hundreds of millions in acquiring content studios and technology companies to support the push. The company has inked exclusive podcast distribution deals as well, including a multiyear pact for “The Joe Rogan Experience,” reportedly worth more than $100 million, and Alex Cooper’s “Call Her Daddy,” said to be for more than $60 million over three years.