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Wednesday, January 25, 2023 – A Spotify executive who signed up Harry and Meghan in a multi-million-pound podcast deal is quitting her job as the company slashes hundreds of jobs.
Chief content officer Dawn Ostroff was the driving force behind the streaming business’s move into podcasts.
She secured the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes series in a deal thought to be worth £20million – but announcing around 600 job cuts and a management shake-up, chief executive Daniel Ek yesterday said Ostroff has ‘decided to depart Spotify’.
Ek said: ‘Like many other leaders, I hoped to sustain the strong tailwinds from the pandemic and believed our broad global business and lower risk to the impact of a slowdown in ads would insulate us. In hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth.’
The company said Ostroff helped expand the podcast content by 40 times, signing major contracts with Harry and Meghan and the Obamas.
In recent months, the company said cost-cutting efforts had failed to shift the dial and more drastic changes were needed to boost business, including ‘fundamentally changing how we operate at the top’.
Spotify’s shares have also been hit by the increasing pressure on consumer spending and a wider tech sell-off, with shares down more than 70 percent since February 2021 heights, knocking roughly £40billion off its value.
Head of research at Enders Analysis Alice Enders described Spotify’s job cuts as ‘inevitable’ for a company that relies so heavily on advertising.
Over half of Spotify’s 456million monthly users listen for free, meaning any global advertising slump is likely to weigh heavy on the platform.
The same advertising strain has meant mass job cuts for Facebook-owner Meta, Snapchat, and Twitter too in recent months.
Tech analyst at PP Foresight Paolo Pescatore said job losses are simply ‘the flavour of the month’ for tech firms.