Spotify slashes 6% of its headcount, blames spiralling OPEX pegged at 2X revenue

Audio streaming giant is latest to confirm it's consolidating as recession worries continue to bite.
Spotify slashes 6% of its headcount, blames spiralling OPEX pegged at 2X revenue

Spotify just confirmed it's letting go 6% of its staff in a restructuring that also sees chief content officer and advertising lead Dawn Ostroff heading for the exit.

The Stockholm-HQed music streaming platform has a challenge fighting sluggish ad spends expected this year as media suffers the fall out of economic recession.

In the third quarter last year, Spotify reported ad-supported operating revenue was 19% higher than in 2021. Its paid subscriber base rose 13%, reaching 195 million, however share prices fell afterwards, alluding to wider industry concern.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has admitted operating cost growth for FY22 outpaced revenue by a two-fold multiplier, a situation he believes is "untenable". Full fourth quarter data is due January 31.

In a lengthy explainer, Ek set out Spotify's "need to become more efficient." while commending Ostroff's contribution to the company. Among her achievements, Ostroff was praised for greatly expanding Spotify's podcast catalogue.

"Because of her efforts, Spotify grew our podcast content by 40x, drove significant innovation in the medium and became the leading music and podcast service in many markets," Ek wrote.

"These investments in audio offered new opportunities for music and podcast creators and also drove new interest in the potential of Spotify’s audio advertising."

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