Netflix cuts 150 US-based jobs after losing subscribers

May 19, 2022 9:00 am

[Source: BBC]

Netflix has made about 150 staff redundant, a month after the streaming service said it was losing subscribers for the first time in a decade.

The redundancies, announced by the entertainment giant on Tuesday, will mainly affect its US office in California. They account for about 2% of its North American workforce.

Netflix said the job losses were due to the slump in the company’s revenue.

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The streaming service is battling an exodus of viewers this year.

“These changes are primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance, which makes them especially tough as none of us want to say goodbye to such great colleagues,” the company said in a statement.

It wasn’t disclosed which parts of the business would see job losses, but the Los Angeles Times reported that recruiting, communications and also the content department were all affected.

Some people also disclosed their job loss online.

In April, the streaming giant shocked the industry when it revealed it had lost 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of 2022, and warned another two million were expected to quit in the coming quarter.

The news sparked an investor sell-off, with the firm’s stock plunging 35% in one day. It is now trading at $190 (£152), a 46% drop on its previous premium.

While Netflix has 220 million subscribers globally and remains the clear market leader, it has faced fierce competition in recent years with the arrival of competitor platforms such as Disney Plus, HBO, and Amazon’s Prime Video.

In its earnings report last month, the company also said the war in Ukraine and the decision to raise its prices in the US had cost it subscribers.

Pulling out of the Russian market alone had cost the service 700,000 members, it revealed.

Along with job losses, the company is also cutting content and pulling back on its own creations. Earlier in May it cancelled development of Pearl, an animated series created by Meghan Markle, in its move to cut costs.

Some analysts say that after a surge in sign-ups during the pandemic, Netflix has run out of easy ways to grow the business.

The company says it’s looking at a cheaper, ad-based model and also planning on cracking down on password sharing which has cost it 100 million households.

Netflix is not alone in making job cuts. In recent weeks, a slew of US tech companies from start-ups to big names such as Uber and Twitter have said they are slowing or freezing hiring, or, like online car sales firm Carvana, announced redundancies, citing a downturn.