Spotify to lay off 6% of all staff as tech sector retrenchment continues

Music streaming service Spotify said Monday it’s cutting six per cent of its global workforce, becoming yet another tech company resorting to layoffs as the post-pandemic economic outlook weakens.

CEO Daniel Ek announced the restructuring in a message to employees that was also posted online.

As part of the revamp involving a management reshuffle, “and to bring our costs more in line, we’ve made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce our number of employees,” Ek wrote.

Big tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google announced tens of thousands of job cuts this month as the economic boom that the industry rode during the COVID-19 pandemic waned.

Ek said Stockholm-based Spotify was no different. The company’s operating costs last year were double its revenue growth, a gap that would be “unsustainable long-term” in any economic climate, but even more difficult to close with “a challenging macro environment,” he said.

Spotify had benefited from pandemic lockdowns because more people had sought out entertainment when they stayed home.

“I hoped to sustain the strong tailwinds from the pandemic and believed that 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,” Ek said.

He said that’s why the company is cutting its global workforce by about six per cent, without giving a specific number of job losses. Spotify has just shy of 10,000 workers around the world, which implies that 600 jobs are being axed.

“I take full accountability for the moves that got us here today,” Ek said.

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