Spotify Layoffs Threaten Every Noise at Once, Drawing Outpour of Fan Frustration

In a chilling December blow, Spotify executed its third wave of layoffs, axing 17% of its workforce. Among those casualties was Glenn McDonald, the brain behind Every Noise at Once, a beloved platform adored by music aficionados globally for its exhaustive exploration of music genres.

The aftermath of Spotify’s cutbacks was swift and merciless, with Every Noise abruptly halting operations post-layoffs. McDonald’s departure not only severed his ties to the platform but also ripped away access to Spotify’s internal data, leaving Every Noise stranded without its lifeblood.

Every Noise, born during McDonald’s tenure at The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company later acquired by Spotify in 2013, quickly became a holy grail for music discovery. With a database boasting over 6,000 genres, from pagan black metal to Australian rockabilly, Every Noise offered an unparalleled odyssey through the musical landscape.

McDonald’s exit sparked an outpouring of anguish from devoted fans, flooding online forums with their grievances and disappointment. One lamented, “Without Glenn, we’ve suffered an enormous permanent loss.” Another vowed to abandon Spotify in solidarity.

The impact of Every Noise extended beyond mere music exploration, shaping Spotify’s genre system and influencing features like “Fans also like” and personalized playlists such as “Daily Mix.”

Despite the setback, McDonald’s innovative contributions continued to resonate within Spotify, evident in the viral success of features like Soundtowns and Spotify Wrapped. However, the timing of his layoffs, coinciding with the release of Wrapped, left a bitter taste in many mouths.

Fans mourn the absence of Every Noise’s New Releases feature, which provided a curated selection of new music categorized by genreā€”a feature notably lacking in Spotify’s offerings. While Spotify provides an API for developers, it lacks the comprehensive data that fueled Every Noise’s dynamic features.

Presently, Every Noise lies dormant, offering only a glimpse of its former vibrancy. McDonald, uncertain of the platform’s fate post-layoffs, voiced concerns about its future viability.

The uncertain future of Every Noise serves as a poignant reminder of the human toll behind corporate decisions and the profound impact of passion-driven projects like McDonald’s. As fans lament the potential demise of this musical encyclopedia, they are left to ponder whether Spotify will take action to salvage what remains of Every Noise at Once.

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