# Spotify’s Second Quarter Earnings Call: Layoffs and Podcast Shutdowns
Today, I will be discussing Spotify’s second quarter earnings call and the implications it has for the company. Despite recent layoffs and the shutdown of several podcasts, it seems that it will take some time before we see the benefits of these cost-saving measures. Additionally, I have exciting news about actor-hosted rewatch podcasts and a new podcast arriving on public radio.
# Rewatch Podcasts Continue During Hollywood Strike
Good news for fans of TV rewatch podcasts such as Gossip Queens and Pod Meets World! These podcasts will not be affected by the ongoing Hollywood strike. Previously, there was confusion surrounding whether these podcasts violated the strike’s rules, but the SAG-AFTRA union has clarified its stance. Under the union’s guidelines, existing TV rewatch podcasts can continue to release new episodes during the strike as long as they are under contract. However, the union prohibits the creation of new podcasts and promoting struck work without a SAG-AFTRA contract. This clarification brings assurance to rewatch podcasts like Full House and Bones, which can now launch their initial episodes. However, the union is less lenient when it comes to future projects. They have outlined guidelines for rewatch and companion podcasts, advising members to refrain from participating in such work.
# Spotify’s Q2 Earnings: Podcast Ad Revenue Increases, But Challenges Persist
Swedish audio giant Spotify has released its second-quarter earnings report, indicating both positive and negative trends. Premium users have increased to 220 million, and podcast ad revenue has seen a 30% rise compared to last year. However, the company still faces challenges, with a net loss of €302 million this quarter. This suggests that it may take some time before the company’s efforts to streamline operations bear fruit. In an attempt to reduce losses, Spotify made significant changes, including laying off approximately 800 employees (200 from its podcast operations), merging podcast studios Gimlet and Parcast, and cutting high-profile programming deals. Despite these efforts, the company’s gross profit margins dipped slightly this quarter, with an average revenue decline per user as well.
# Spotify’s Revenue Growth Strategy
Spotify’s leadership expressed optimism about the future, citing an expected increase in users and revenue due to recent price hikes. The company raised its Premium subscription price by $1 in the US and increased prices in over 50 global markets. CEO Daniel Ek emphasized the importance of growing the number of ad-supported and Premium users, while acknowledging that there may come a time when price increases become a vital tool for revenue growth. Furthermore, Spotify aims to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance user experience. For example, AI could be used to summarize podcast content, making it easier for consumers to discover new podcasts and boosting engagement.
# The Ezra Klein Show Coming to Public Radio
In an exciting partnership between PRX and The New York Times, The Ezra Klein Show will be aired on public radio stations starting in November. While the podcast version will still be distributed by the Times, PRX will take on the role of distributing the public radio program. PRX, known for distributing other popular public radio shows like The Moth Radio Hour and Reveal, aims to provide listeners with programming that provides clarity and enrichment. The Ezra Klein Show, hosted by the founder of Vox, is a perfect fit for this goal.
*Note: This paraphrase and clarification is based on the content and ideas presented in the original press article. Sources other than theverge.com were consulted to ensure originality and avoid plagiarism.*