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Wall Street loves a layoff.

Spotify’s stock is currently up about 7 percent following the announcement that the company is laying off 17 percent of its staff. If CEO Daniel Ek is trying to appease investors with a new focus on efficiency, it is working. More than 1,500 of Spotify’s employees will be notified by tomorrow afternoon that they are out of a job.

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Why Spotify Wrapped 2023 might think Burlington, VT, is your Sound Town.

Or maybe it’s Berkely, CA, or Cambridge, MA, or some other college town. Enough people were confused about Spotify’s latest Wrapped to spur articles in the New York Times and Washington Post, and Spotify is extending 2023’s audio recap season by explaining how they were assigned:

Sound Towns selected for eligible users are made up of two factors: a user’s most-streamed artists of the year, and the way in which those artists are streamed in other cities. It’s objective and driven by a user’s listening history.

If what that has to do with your music listening habits isn’t immediately clear, it also posted the top ten lists for each city. Noah Kahan, Sza, and Lizzy McAlpine took the top three spots in Burlington.

“If I’m doing the math right, that means I earned $12.”

Spotify had a bunch of artists record videos to their fans for its year-end Wrapped lists. Weird Al used his to joke about Spotify payouts from right inside Spotify’s platform.

Today on The Vergecast: Spotify’s audio bundle and Disney’s cable bundle.

Can you make an app that’s good for music, podcasts, audiobooks, discovery, library management, and like 100 other things? That’s what Spotify’s trying to figure out. Meanwhile, Disney is out here trying to eat the entire entertainment business one brand at a time. And trust me, friends: it’s going to be called Disney Plus.

TikTok and Spotify, together at last.

TikTok’s main feed now has an “add song” button that lets you save songs to your Spotify Liked Songs playlist. Spotify says both free and paid US and UK members will get it.

If you don’t see it yet, make sure to update both apps and set Spotify as as your default streaming service in the TikTok app (Settings > Music).

Update November 14th, 2023, 11:45AM ET: TechCrunch notes you can also pick Apple Music or Amazon Music.

Joe Rogan’s big decision

Three years after Joe Rogan signed with Spotify, he remains the biggest podcaster in the world. Will he renew his cushy licensing deal, find a new partner, or forge his own path?

The Verge
Spotify’s podcasting business should break even “pretty soon.”

In a call with investors Tuesday morning, Spotify CFO Paul Vogel said that the company’s podcasting business is on track to (finally) become profitable. This follows a year of deep cuts to the podcasting arm, including the dissolution of Gimlet.

Paint it, blue and garnet.

As part of its ongoing deal with Spotify, FC Barcelona is once again featuring an iconic artist on its jersey for the big El Clásico match coming up on October 28th. It all started with Drake last year, but this time around it’s the Rolling Stones. The kits are on pre-sale in a few days if you need to get some satisfaction.

A photo of the FC Barcelona jersey with a Rolling Stones logo as the sponsor.
Image: FC Barcelona
Spotify’s ‘Supremium’ plan (and lossless audio) are inching closer to release.

In the not too distant future, Spotify is expected to roll out a new subscription plan priced higher than its existing Premium tier. New logos uncovered by Chris Messina make it all but certain that it’ll be called “Supremium.” That sounds pretty goofy, but whatever.

Spotify’s Supremium will reportedly bundle together numerous perks including, finally (and I mean finally), the launch of lossless audio. If you’re reading this and happen to know more, you should slide into my Signal inbox at (845) 445-8455.

Spotify just increased prices, but you might want to get ready for more.

I get the sense that Robert Kyncl, the CEO of Warner Music Group, feels there’s room for the price of music streaming services to go up.