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Friday March 15, 2024

WGA East Members at The Ringer and Spotify Studios Ratify New Union Contract

NEW YORK, NY (March 15, 2024) — Writers Guild of America East members at The Ringer and Spotify Studios (formerly Gimlet Media and Parcast) ratified new three-year collective bargaining agreements with Spotify.

The Ringer’s contract includes a new minimum base salary of $65,000, up from $57,000. In the first year of the contract, employees making less than $110,000 will receive either the increase to the new minimum for their job title or $4,500, representing an average increase of 6.4%, and employees making more than $110,000 will receive a minimum 2% raise. There will be a minimum of 2% raises in the second and third years of the contract.

At Spotify Studios, union members will receive a $5,000 flat-rate increase to their base salary, which is a 5.7% salary increase across the unit.

In the wake of media layoffs, The Ringer Union and Spotify Studios secured extended severance of up to 26 weeks for employees who have been with the company for eight or more years. The minimum amount of severance any employee will receive is 11 weeks.

Both bargaining units won critical protections against the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Spotify must provide notice to employees when a new AI tool is implemented into their work. Employees can decline byline or credit on work that has used AI in a substantial capacity, and Spotify will include distinct signifiers on content for which AI was used in a substantive way. Furthermore, Spotify cannot use AI to create a “digital replica” (voice or likeness) of an employee to create new content without that employee’s permission, with the exception of instances or occasions when AI is used to translate podcasts into new languages. In that circumstance, the company will add a disclosure to the content upon the request of the host or main contributor whose voice is being mimicked in another language.

Finally, both contracts include protections for workers on visas and on issues regarding immigration. Spotify agreed to not ask for immigration information except where required by law. Employees who are on a work visa and maintain their employment for one year at the company may request a meeting to discuss a move to a permanent company-sponsored green card and such meeting request shall not be unreasonably denied. In the event of layoffs, Spotify must consider requests to convert severance to paid non-working notice.

The Ringer Union said, “We are thrilled to ratify a new contract that addresses our members’ highest priorities. Thanks to the solidarity of our unit, we were able to negotiate meaningful raises and industry-leading protections against the creep of artificial intelligence into our work.”

Spotify Studios Union said, “After more than two months of bargaining, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve agreed to a new contract with Spotify, and that this contract has been unanimously ratified. Thanks to the solidarity and strength of our union, we secured pay increases that are on average an inflation-beating 5.7% across the unit. We also made gains on severance, won new protections for employees who are on visas, and secured groundbreaking A.I. safeguards. To win these gains, 100% of Gimlet Union employees signed a strike pledge and were prepared to walk. 100% of Parcast Union employees signed this strike pledge in solidarity.

This contract also marks a new chapter: beginning with the ratification of this agreement, the Gimlet and Parcast Unions join together to become The Spotify Studios Union.

Our unit went into these negotiations battered by brutal rounds of layoffs. So many of our talented colleagues were cast aside in a restructuring that was only necessary because of decisions made by Spotify leadership. Still, during the course of negotiations, Spotify Studios Union members came together and found a unified voice to defend our rights as workers.”

Based in New York, Spotify Studios has produced such popular shows as THE JOURNAL, SCIENCE VS, EVERY LITTLE THING, REPLY ALL, THE JOURNAL and CRIME SHOW. The Ringer has produced popular shows as THE BILL SIMMONS PODCAST, RINGER NFL SHOW, RINGER NBA SHOW, 60 SONGS THAT EXPLAIN THE ‘90S, THE REWATCHABLES and many more.

In addition to The Ringer and Spotify Studios, the WGAE represents workers at podcast production companies Crooked Media, the iHeart Podcast Network, Pineapple Street Media and Pushkin Industries. The Guild represents 7,000 workers in film, television, news, podcasts and online media.

The Writers Guild of America East, AFL-CIO, is a labor union representing more than 7,500 members working in film, television, news, podcasts and online media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America East, visit


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