Spotify is axing 11 original podcasts

Spotify is canceling 11 of its original podcasts from in-house studios Gimlet and Parcast. Among the shows ending are How to Save a Planet, Crime Show, and Medical Murders, according to Spotify spokesperson Grey Munford.

Other shows that will end over the next month or so include Every Little Thing from Gimlet and Female Criminals, Crimes of Passion, Dictator, Mythology, Haunted Places, and Urban Legends from Parcast. Parcast’s Horoscope Today will wrap up in the second quarter of 2023.

Less than 5 percent of Spotify’s staff on original podcasts will be laid off or reassigned, according to Munford. The Ringer and Spotify Studios will not be affected.

Among the shows ending are How to Save a Planet, Crime Show, and Medical Murders, according to Spotify

The news comes as Spotify has begun to lean on glitzier programming like Batman: Unburied and Meghan Markle’s podcast, Archetypes. But before the streamer pursued high-profile hosts like Joe Rogan and produced Hollywood collaborations, it bought Gimlet and Parcast in 2019 to build the foundation of its podcast library.

True-crime-focused Parcast has managed to perform well for Spotify. Six of its shows rank in Spotify’s top 100, including Serial Killers, Cold Cases, and Conspiracy Theories. The cut shows appear to be among its lower-performing programming.

Gimlet has fallen on tougher times. The studio’s biggest show, Reply All, imploded last year after former Gimlet staffers accused co-host PJ Vogt and producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni of fostering a toxic environment, resulting in their departure. The show ended with a whimper earlier this year. Gimlet managing director Lydia Polgreen left the studio this summer, and a replacement has still not been announced. Meanwhile, Gimlet only has one show ranking in Spotify’s top 100 — The Journal, a collaboration with The Wall Street Journal.

Even so, How To Save a Planet’s cancellation comes as a particular surprise. The climate change show has been well received and is hosted by Gimlet’s now-biggest star, co-founder and former Planet Money co-host Alex Blumberg. Blumberg has not made a public statement since the cancellation was announced.

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