Unions representing employees at two prominent podcasting companies owned by Spotify, the audiostreaming giant, announced Wednesday that they had ratified their first labor contracts.
The larger of the two unions, with 65 employees, is at The Ringer, a sports and pop culture website with a podcasting network. The second union, at the podcast production company Gimlet Media, has just under 50 employees. The two groups were among the first in the podcasting industry to unionize, and both are represented by the Writers Guild of America, East.
Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director, said the contracts showed that the companies’ writers, producers and editors “bring enormous value to the major platforms for whom they create content.”
The contracts establish minimum base pay of $57,000 for union members at The Ringer and $73,000 at Gimlet Media, annual pay increases of at least 2 percent, and a minimum of 11 weeks of severance pay.
complained about a lack of Black writers and editors after the company’s founder, Bill Simmons, hosted a podcast in which a colleague ham-handedly discussed the aftermath of the George Floyd killing and praised Mr. Simmons’s commitment to diversity.
At Gimlet, the company recently canceled the final two episodes of a four-part series on racial inequity at the food magazine Bon Appétit after staffers complained that Gimlet itself suffered from similar problems.
Employees at both companies unionized in 2019, and the contract negotiations were at times contentious. Management refused to give ground on a top union priority — rights to work that writers and podcasters create, which the companies will retain — but the unions nonetheless ratified the contracts unanimously, according to the writers guild.