US-focused redundancies in film and TV operations follow revenue slowdown
Netflix is cutting 150 jobs as the streaming company seeks to reduce its costs after revealing it expects to lose millions of subscribers in the first half of the year.
The widely expected cuts are mostly focused on its US operation, affecting employees in its sprawling film and TV divisions.
This month, Netflix’s market value was slashed by almost $60bn as investors panicked that the decade-long boom in the streaming sector had come to an end, after the company reported its first loss of subscribers in 10 years.
As of December, Netflix had about 11,300 full-time employees, meaning the cuts represent 1.3% of its global workforce. Last month, it laid off about 25 employees in marketing-related jobs, including contractors who had been there less than a year.
Netflix, which plans to focus on a “less is more” strategy of fewer but higher-quality commissions of series and films, is estimated to be spending $17bn on making and licensing content this year. The company has said it expects to trim its budgets.
“As we explained on earnings, our slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “So sadly, we are letting around 150 employees go today, mostly US-based.
“These changes are primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance … A number of agency contractors have also been impacted by the news announced this morning.”
The company has blamed its slowdown on a number of factors including shutting its Russian operation, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It intends to start cracking down on widespread password-sharing among its 221m global subscribers.
Netflix, which in several Latin American markets is testing charging a small additional fee to allow households to share their subscription, estimates that its service is shared for free with 100m additional homes globally.
The company also intends to launch a cheaper, ad-supported tier this year to attempt to reignite subscriber growth.