Tidal has cut off 10% of its staff including the editorial playlist side. Interestingly, Tidal introduced an AI-generated playlist in beta earlier this year.
Spotify cut off 17% of its staff, around 1500 people. A top marketing executive (behind the recent Wrapper feature) and the podcast sales and hosting arm of the company, including people at M’egaphone, which provides software for podcasts, and at Spotify Ad Analytics, as well as the director of ad integrity and brand safety were among the casualties.
And at the same time, the CFO (departing) cashing in $9.4m in shares…
And wasn’t it Spotify who paid $20m to Harry and princess Sparkle for a few podcasts. Doesn’t seem fair to me.
earned over a period of time, of course
i’m sure they’ve paid more for less. nobody crying about the 280m Barca shirt sponsorship deal…
and the free press they got for sacking H&M could have funded a shirt deal for a championship level football club alone…
That sucks to see people go like that; the hope is they’ve been employees for a while and have received some stock pre-IPO
Spotify in particular is entering the maturity phase of the business. I think they’re on track to lose 350m-ish of operating income this year but turned a (small) profit in Q3. If that trend holds in Q4, the market is going to be looking for growth and expecting strong profitability next year. 1,500 people at an average of 50k per is a big number in their cost base.
And they’re not a high-margin business (like other software companies) due to the streaming/royalty costs, so they’ll be looking to take cost out wherever they can.
Everyone in Silicon Valley or Silicon Valley adjecent industries is making similar adjustments. I’ve been watching it happen all year. Even when business is good, they are being advised to do so by their stakeholders (VC or bank that sit on the board) in preparation for an economic downturn. Sometimes they will also do it before looking for a buyer too because in the short term you can shed staff and make your revenue:costs ratio look more attractive.
My employer has been the same.
‘’[Nile] Rodgers was dismissive of the labels’ claim that their majority share of streaming revenues is fair because they invest millions into artists and repertoire (A&R), pumping money into acts which could easily flop. “I really hate the fact that they keep using that argument that is completely archaic,” said Rodgers. “I hate to use words like ‘lie’ – but it’s a lie.”’
It’s not just Bowie who’d be strangled at birth under the current regime: Pink Floyd, Pulp, David Sylvian, Bill Withers, Laughing Len Cohen, The Fall… all would never have been the chance to grow, develop and find their way in today’s industry.
I bet you can all think of scores more…
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