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Netflix Piles On Bad News With Bad News As Major Layoffs Are Announced

Netflix is definitely going through a rough time right now. While many millions of people still stand by the service despite the granddaddy of streaming continuing to quietly raise prices, after this January’s price hike settled in, it was revealed that Netflix lost about 200,000 subscribers across the first two quarters of its fiscal year. That was the first time Netflix lost subscribers since 2011, and now there’s more bad news, as the company has announced that major layoffs have taken place.

Who Is Impacted By The Netflix Layoffs?

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Netflix let it be known recently that it had laid off about 150 employees because of its decline in subscribers and revenue, with most of those jobs being based in the United States. The departments most affected by those layoffs involve those working on the content aspect of the streamer, as well as employees in communications and recruiting. Those job losses account for roughly 1% of Netflix’s global workforce, with slightly less than half of the staffers who were laid off having been based in the company’s L.A. headquarters. As a Netflix spokesperson explained in a statement:

As we explained on earnings, our slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company. So sadly, we are letting around 150 employees go today, mostly U.S.-based. 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. We’re working hard to support them through this very difficult transition.

While layoffs of good employees are always difficult, this is not the beginning of the employee downturn for Netflix, as Fortune reported that the service also cut about 25 staffers and contractors from its marketing department on April 28, with those working for Netflix’s Tudum editorial site being most affected. Even though that number of employees is far lower than the most recent layoffs, the move angered many, as several of those workers had been hired just months before and even relocated for their jobs, with some alleging that they were only given two weeks of severance pay.

Netflix is still expected to spend about $18 billion on content this year (which is up from $17 billion in 2021), but the loss of revenue and market stability (which includes a precipitous one-day drop in stock price) has led to cuts. The service has long been known for cancelling shows after only one or two seasons, and frequently those are series with strong followings and / or great critical reviews. But, after recent losses, Netflix quickly decided to pull the plug on several long-in-development projects, like the adaptation of Jeff Smith’s beloved comic series, Bone.

Several of the recently axed projects were actually animated, and Netflix has now also cut 70 part-time jobs at its animation studio, as well as eliminating some freelancers who worked in its publishing and social media group, according to Variety

As confirmed in the statement from the Netflix spokesperson, the company is now attempting to cut costs to make up for the sudden lack of revenue, with those at the company working out plans to cut down on password sharing, and preparing to introduce a lower-priced plan that’s subsidized by commercials. The L.A. Times report notes that there may be additional layoffs coming to members of other teams later this year. Hopefully, though, Netflix will be able to find a way to right itself and its position in a now extremely crowded streaming space before that has to happen.

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