Spotify Scales Back on Live Audio Programming

Spotify revealed it’s ending a handful of its live audio programming from Spotify Live, months after the venture rebranded in April this year.

According to the company, it will continue producing sports shows like The Fantasy Footballers and The Ringer MMA Show. While four review and lifestyle shows will be pulled, including Deaux Me After Dark with Deux Moi, a pseudonymous Instagram account with over 1.7 million followers that publishes celebrity news content, and A Gay in the Life with married couple and actors Garrett Clayton and Blake Knight.

Though some of Spotify’s live audio shows were canceled before the contracts were completed, the company is paying out the full agreement, according to reports from Bloomberg Media.

Spotify Live originally launched as Spotify Greenroom in October 2020, months after live audio app Clubhouse launched, a notorious source for community and connectivity during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Spotify isn’t the only platform departing from the live audio business. Since Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition and subsequent layoff of half the staff, the platform’s Twitter Spaces division has been hollowed out, with members of the team who helped build the feature left looking for new gigs via LinkedIn, reports show. Elsewhere Amazon’s live audio feature Amp, which launched this March, slashed half of its workforce in October, affecting nearly 150 employees.

Clubhouse itself was valued at $4 billion by 2021. Now, some estimates show app usage this summer is down 70% compared with its peak in February 2021, according to reports. The company also faced departures and layoffs in June.

Amid a bleak outlook for the ad market, some suggest podcasting ad revenue will remain relatively unaffected, Insider Intelligence reports. Spotify itself saw healthy growth in users and total revenue in its third quarter of 2022, but its ad revenue growth took a hit; in Q3, ad-supported revenue grew 19% compared with 75% in Q3 2021.

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