The satellite radio company and Pandora owner SiriusXM revealed that it will be reducing its workforce by 8%, which equates to 475 employees being laid off. The decision was made after a review of the company's operations announced in November to identify areas for improved efficiency and agility. The layoffs will affect "almost every department," according to an email sent to employees by CEO Jennifer Witz.
As a result of these efforts, the company has implemented cost-cutting measures such as reducing content, marketing, and discretionary spending, shrinking its real estate holdings, and enforcing stricter travel and entertainment policies. Despite these actions, CEO Jennifer Witz stated that due to the current economic climate and planned investments in the business, the company will need to reduce headcount as well, revealed TechCrunch.
“Over the past five years, our business has grown and expanded with the addition of new acquisitions, business lines, and revenue streams. Now, we have completed an assessment of our departments and functions to determine where we can improve collaboration, consolidate teams to achieve greater efficiencies, and ultimately, design an organisation structure that is best positioned to achieve our priorities. As a result, nearly every department across SiriusXM will be impacted. We believe the new operational design will allow us to move faster and more effectively as we take on new challenges across our business,” Witz wrote in the email.
SiriusXM reported a net gain of 134,000 subscribers in its latest quarter, which is an improvement from the loss of 231,000 subscribers during the same period last year. This brings the total number of self-pay subscribers to 32.4 million and the total number of users to 34.3 million.
However, the company's Pandora business has been struggling due to competition from rivals such as Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and Google. In the fourth quarter of 2022, SiriusXM lost 52,000 net self-pay Pandora subscribers, resulting in a total of 6.2 million self-pay subscribers at the end of the quarter. Additionally, Pandora's monthly active users decreased from 52.3 million to 47.6 million compared to the previous year.
Despite being an early pioneer in the music streaming industry, Pandora's owner has not fully utilised its acquisition in 2018, which cost $3.5 billion. So far, the company has only introduced some integrations between the services, such as a Pandora NOW station on the satellite streamer and occasional bundle discounts.
After the acquisition, the company appointed Joseph Inzerillo, a former executive of Disney+, as its new Chief Product Officer in 2021. He has been making changes to the company's internal operations, including integrating the previously separate engineering teams of SiriusXM and Pandora.
Inzerillo aims to adopt a platform-oriented approach towards the services instead of a product-specific approach, as he recently mentioned to TechCrunch.