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Spotify cancels industry-favorite podcast Heavyweight Leave a comment


Heavyweight, one of Gimlet’s flagship shows and a favorite among people in the industry, has been cancelled by Spotify. After the show finishes its current season, the team that makes Heavyweight will be laid off, a person familiar with the situation told The Verge.

“We are extremely proud of the team who has supported these talented storytellers across each of the incredible episodes of Heavyweight,” Spotify spokesperson Rosa Oh said in a statement to The Verge. “We are excited to share the upcoming episodes and season that will be available on Spotify and other podcast platforms, and we will work with the show creator to ensure a smooth transition for wherever the series goes next.”

The cancellation comes as Spotify executes a layoff of 17 percent of its staff and carries out a very different podcasting strategy than it started with. In 2019, Spotify paid $230 million to acquire Gimlet, which at the time was the buzziest independent podcast operation in the business. But the studio failed to produce the kind of hit shows that Spotify was looking for and lost its biggest hit, Reply All, after co-host PJ Vogt and producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni were accused of fostering a discriminatory environment. Over the next year, Gimlet’s programming and staff were whittled down to a fraction of what it had started with and the studio was folded into Spotify Originals. Meanwhile, Spotify moved away from prestigious, narrative podcasts in favor of personality-driven chat shows like Joe Rogan Experience and Call Her Daddy.

Stolen, another show from Gimlet that has earned acclaim (and a a Pulitzer Prize, to boot), has also been cancelled, according to Bloomberg. The show will also finish out its current season. Both shows may have the opportunity to be shopped elsewhere after their runs end.


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