Spotify fires 1,500 workers in largest layoff this year

Music streaming giant Spotify announced it is laying off 1,500 employees, about 17% of its workforce.

Founder and CEO Daniel Elk said the company took advantage of the economic situation in 2020-21 to hire more employees, but that Spotify has not done well enough to justify those hires.

“I recognize this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions,” he wrote in a company blog. “To be blunt, many smart, talented and hard-working people will be departing us.”

Impacted workers were being notified on Monday.  

December’s layoffs are the latest in a string of firings at Spotify this year. The company kicked off the year by cutting about 200 jobs in January and then another 600 in June. After this week’s firings, Spotify will retain around 7,300 employees.

The layoffs may be surprising to those watching Spotify’s growth over this year. Spotify exceeded predictions for user growth this past quarter and is expected to surpass this year’s fourth-quarter expectations. 

However, Mr. Elk said the layoffs were inevitable.

“I realize that for many, a reduction of this size will feel surprisingly large,” he wrote, “given the recent positive earnings report and out-performance. We debated making smaller reductions throughout 2024 and 2025.”

Tech companies around the world have struggled to avoid layoffs in 2023 as the economic environment becomes more strained. After Elon Musk shocked the tech industry late last year by firing the majority of Twitter’s staff, other companies followed suit.

Popular tech companies, spurred on by a hectic economic climate, began scaling back future projects and cutting staff. Meta, Amazon and Google have collectively fired thousands of workers this year.

Source: WT