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Spotify announces cut of 1,500 jobs with 17 per cent of workforce facing axe

Spotify has announced it will cut down 17 per cent of its workforce in order to save costs.

The streaming platform previously laid off 6 per cent of its staff earlier this year in January, saying at the time it was doing so to promote “speed”.

This time, chief executive Daniel Ek has said he made the “difficult” decision as economic growth has “slowed dramatically”. Spotify employs around 9,000 people, meaning 1,500 jobs will be lost in the current round of layoffs.

“I recognise this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions,” Ek wrote. “To be blunt, many smart, talented and hard-working people will be departing us.” He also added that the cuts would be “incredibly painful for our team”.

Spotify stock image (Photo Illustration by Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ek also addressed the “surprisingly large” redundancies given Spotify’s recent announcement that the company had made a profit. The company reportedly made a profit of €65million (£55.7million) for the September-November quarter, its first quarterly profit for more than a year.

“We debated making smaller reductions throughout 2024 and 2025,” Ek wrote. “Yet, considering the gap between our financial goal state and our current operational costs, I decided that a substantial action to rightsize our costs was the best option to accomplish our objectives.”

The company claimed it will offer five months of severance pay, holiday pay, and healthcare coverage for its severance period. Spotify will also offer immigration support to employees and career support.

Spotify has recently made controversial changes to its platform, including a streaming threshold of 1,000 plays to generate royalties. According to Spotify data, there are around 100million songs on the service, yet only around 37.5million meet the new requirements to generate revenue.

The change has garnered criticism from the likes of Weird Al Yankovic, who took aim at the platform in his #SpotifyWrapped artist video. “It’s my understanding that I had over 80 million streams on Spotify this year so, if I’m doing the math right, that means I earned $12. Enough to get myself a nice sandwich at a restaurant,” he said.

The platform also announced it was cutting its services in Uruguay following the country’s copyright law that would require “equitable remuneration” for artists.

“Changes that could force Spotify to pay twice for the same music would make out business of connecting artists and fans unsustainable, and regrettably leaves us no choice but to stop being available in Uruguay,” said a spokesperson for Spotify.

In other news, Taylor Swift was announced as the platform’s Top Artist of the year, having reportedly earned over $100million in royalties and revenue from Spotify alone.

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