Amazon Announces Plans to Lay Off 18,000+ Employees — Possibly Including Amazon Music Staff

Photo Credit: Christian Wiediger

Amazon has announced plans to lay off approximately 18,000 employees, though it’s unclear whether the personnel reduction will extend to Amazon Music.

The ecommerce giant’s staff cuts, which follow a multitude of layoffs from other high-profile companies in 2022 and 2023’s opening week, were detailed in a blog post penned by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy. According to the concise message, the Amazon Music owner is axing “just over 18,000 roles,” an increase from the layoffs forecasted in November.

“Several teams are impacted; however, the majority of role eliminations are in our Amazon Stores and PXT [People, Experience, and Technology] organizations,” wrote Jassy. Moreover, the Amazon head said that he’d opted to disclose the unfortunate news to the public today “because one of our teammates leaked this information externally.”

But Amazon only plans to begin informing the affected employees “starting on January 18,” Jassy confirmed.

Consequently, none of these professionals – a total of about 1.5 million people work for Amazon – appears to have penned related posts on LinkedIn. Additionally, Digital Music News reached out to Amazon Music to inquire about whether it will be impacted, but didn’t receive a response in time for publishing.

However, Amazon’s Amp live radio app laid off half its team (approximately 150 individuals) back in October, roughly eight months after the platform debuted. Furthermore, it’s hardly a secret that an array of other companies, many operating in (and around) the music industry, have reduced their ranks since 2022’s beginning.

Spotify last month nixed multiple live audio shows, for instance, on the heels of several layoff rounds (across recruiting, podcasting, and more) as well as an announcement that it would slow hiring by about 25 percent. On the podcasting front, execs have made clear their goal of achieving profitability in the division sooner rather than later.

CD Baby and Soundrop (the entities’ Downtown parent today acquired Curve Royalty Systems), Facebook parent Meta (which European Union regulators have slapped with an over $400 million fine), BMI (which had previously been looking to sell), Patreon, TikTok, and Audacy are among the companies that made layoffs in 2022.

Also in December, it came to light that SiriusXM, despite having reported a small year-over-year revenue increase (albeit with a subscriber dip) for Q3, was reportedly exploring the possibility of making layoffs.

The Liberty Media-owned satellite radio company hasn’t publicly confirmed or denied these rumored plans to reduce personnel expenses, but per the mentioned report, execs intend to deliver an announcement in the near future.