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Spotify Canada's Nathan Wiszniak Among Those Laid Off in Spotify's Global Job Cuts

The streaming music company announced earlier this month that it would be laying off 17% of its global workforce, and Wiszniak was affected in Canada. He shares a statement with Billboard Canada.

Nathan Wiszniak speaking on a panel at Canadian Music Week 2018

Nathan Wiszniak speaking on a panel at Canadian Music Week 2018

On Dec. 4, Spotify announced it would be slashing its global workforce by 17%. Billboard Canada has learned that Nathan Wiszniak, Head of Artist & Label Partnerships at Spotify Canada, was among those laid off.

At the time of Spotify's announcement, just a few days after unveiling its popular Spotify Wrapped campaign, it was unclear how many of the roughly 1,500 jobs cut would come from Canada.


In a memo to staff, CEO Daniel Ek wrote that “considering the gap between our financial goal state and our current operational costs, I decided that a substantial action to rightsize our costs was the best option to accomplish our objectives.”

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Wiszniak has worked at Spotify Canada for nine years and was one of the founding members when the music streaming company expanded to Canada in 2014. In Partnerships, he worked to promote Canadian music and artists and give them a global platform on Spotify.

"From the outset, my mission was to establish and promote an ecosystem that would propel the growth of our industry," Wiszniak writes in an email to Billboard Canada.

Asked about his accomplishments, he highlights his role in championing Punjabi-Canadian artists like Ikky, Karan Aujla and AP Dhillon (all three appeared on Billboard Canada's inaugural Punjabi Wave cover) and contributing to their exponential growth as well as nurturing the early careers of breakout Canadian artists like Jessie Reyez, Daniel Caesar and Charlotte Cardin. He made James Barker Band the first Canadian group to cover the major "Hot Country" playlist and helped launched playlists for Francophone Rap (Rap Québ) and emerging Canadian music (RADAR Canada).

He also launched partnerships with festivals like Toronto Caribbean Carnival and led Spotify's COVID Relief Fund along with Unison.

In the last two years however, he says, Wiszniak's primary role has been "educating government stakeholders about the intricacies of streaming...during a regulatory phase that occurs once in a generation."

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He's likely referring to Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, which will update Canada's media policy for the first time in decades. Spotify is at the heart of that bill's implementation, which could require the company to make more direct and mandatory financial contributions to the Canadian music industry via government regulations.

On Nov. 30, just a few days before the layoff announcement, Wiszniak spoke at the Online Streaming Act hearings, arguing that "imposing initial base contributions on platforms before defining critical elements of the broadcast policy is premature, and risks overlooking the many ways that Spotify already contributes to and supports Canadian and Indigenous artists."

A spokesperson from Spotify Canada declined to share how many of Spotify's global layoffs come from Canada, but confirmed that Wiszniak was part of the layoffs.

Below is Wiszniak's full statement:

"As I bid farewell to Spotify Canada after nine remarkable years, I reflect with a deep sense of accomplishment. Leading a team of dedicated music experts and contributing to the growth of a brand that has become integral to so many lives has been an incredible honour and privilege.

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Being one of the founding members of Spotify's Canadian market launch in 2014 allowed me to play a crucial role in localizing an emerging global business. Collaborating with an industry equally as enthusiastic as I was made each day immensely rewarding, fostering both business growth and lasting friendships.

From the outset, my mission was to establish and promote an ecosystem that would propel the growth of our industry. Over the past two years at Spotify, my primary focus has been on educating government stakeholders about the intricacies of streaming and our team's collective efforts to promote our diverse creative community during a regulatory phase that occurs once in a generation.

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Working alongside an exceptional team to lay the foundation for a new generation of creators, industry leaders, and consumers has been the most fulfilling aspect of my journey. I express my heartfelt gratitude to my team, the industry as a whole, and, most importantly, the artists who continuously innovate and push the boundaries of creative expression."

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Shifty Shellshock of American rap rock band Crazy Town, United Kingdom, circa 2001.
Tim Roney/Getty Images

Shifty Shellshock of American rap rock band Crazy Town, United Kingdom, circa 2001.

Music News

Shifty Shellshock, Crazy Town Singer, Dead at 49

The musician died at home, according to the medical examiner's office.

Shifty Shellshock, the frontman of rap rock band Crazy Town, has died at 49, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. The musician died at home on Monday (June 24), and the cause of death is still pending investigation.

Shellshock was born Seth Binzer on Aug. 23, 1974. He met Crazy Town co-founder Bret Mazer in 1992, and the band went on to add various members, including Adam Goldstein (better known as DJ AM, who died from an accidental overdose in 2009), Rust Epique, Antonio Lorenzo Valli, James Bradley Jr., among others. The band released its debut album The Gift of Game in November 1999. It peaked at No. 9 on the all-genre Billboard 200 on the chart dated March 3, 2001, and remained on the tally for 34 weeks.

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