Spotify’s Podcast Division Experiences Another Major Shakeup With Julie McNamara Exit

julie mcnamara
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julie mcnamara
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As Spotify continues to zero in on profitability, head of podcast studios Julie McNamara has reportedly exited the company. Photo Credit: Will Francis

With Spotify continuing to pursue profitability in earnest – while dialing back its original-content ambitions in the podcast arena – head of podcast studios Julie McNamara is reportedly exiting the company.

Outlets including Bloomberg shed light on this newest podcast-division departure at Spotify, which trimmed about 17% of its team in December. Since 2022, the Parcast and Gimlet parent has canceled several original programs and laid off hundreds of podcast employees.

According to execs, the podcast unit is expected to flip to profitable sooner rather than later. But the restructuring, complete with the exit of higher-ups including Max Cutler and Dawn Ostroff, is evidently ongoing.

Having joined Spotify almost three years back, the CBS (and Paramount+) veteran Julie McNamara is leaving the company, the mentioned outlet indicated, citing an internally circulated memo. At the time of this writing, neither the streaming platform nor McNamara appeared to have commented publicly on the subject.

However, the reported development underscores the scope of the podcast pivot at Spotify, which diversified into non-music audio (now including audiobooks as well) in an effort to move beyond music’s razor-thin margins.

And though the company has definitively shelved its previous strategy of firing off many multimillion-dollar podcast deals and seeing what sticks, it’s hardly abandoned the format.

Instead, the Podsights and Chartable owner has seemingly left far-from-fruitful podcast agreements with high-profile celebrities in the rearview, replacing them with deals that prioritize quality and volume. Comedian Trevor Noah has consistently recorded episodes of What Now? since the Spotify show kicked off, and Joe Rogan as well as Alex Cooper have massive non-exclusive pacts with the service.

Meanwhile, Spotify has also been quietly working to enhance its podcasting efficiency (and bolster revenue) with new hires.

We reported one year back on the company’s job listing for a podcast copy lead, and just last month, Spotify moved to hire a business affairs director for studio content; the latter professional “will structure and negotiate various types of content/creator/talent-related deals…related to talk/video content,” per the text.

And this week, Spotify moved to bring aboard a producer, based in the States or Australia, for its Science Vs program. The selected team member will “pitch and report episodes about science-related topics,” arrange script outlines, and more, according to the description.

Additionally, a Los Angeles-based creator and video communications lead, pulling down between $171,386 and $214,232 annually, will “develop and drive communications strategy for Spotify’s content business, including The Ringer,” a job listing posted today shows.