After losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter and at risk of being lost in the shuffle of the streaming wars, troubles continue at Netflix with several layoffs on Thursday.
The streamer, which has seen its stock price drop nearly 50 percent in the last month made many of the layoffs at Tudum, a website meant to market Netflix’s programs.
The site, named as an onomatopoeia for the sound you hear when a Netflix show begins, was meant to allow subscribers insider access to the company’s shows.
Netflix refused to tell the Los Angeles Times how many jobs were cut, merely saying ‘our fan website Tudum is an important priority for the company.’
Some of those laid off took to Twitter, saying that the company had only hired them months earlier.
After losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter, troubles continue at Netflix with several layoffs on Thursday
The streamer, which has seen its stock price drop nearly 50 percent in the last month made many of the layoffs at Tudum , a website meant to market Netflix’s programs
‘Netflix recruited me seven months ago only to lay me and a bunch of other talented people off today,’ tweeted Evette Dionne, a former editorial staffer .
Sara David wrote: ‘I have unfortunately also been laid off by Netflix and am looking for writer/editor gigs’
‘So. I got laid off from Netflix/Tudum today. Media is gonna media even when it’s not technically media, I guess,’ said Alex Zaragoza.
Josh Terry added: ‘Uh oh! Looks like I have to do this tweet again. Is anyone hiring? Netflix just laid off my team (my job included). It was an incredible few months and I’m grateful for it but I’m stoked about whatever’s next. Email is in bio.’
There have been several hypotheses for why the streamer is losing eyeballs, with many including Tesla CEO (and potential future Twitter chief) Elon Musk blaming ‘the woke mind virus.’
Responding to a tweet about the subscription service’s devastating performance, Musk said: ‘The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable.’
A follower then responded: ‘Woke mind virus is the biggest threat to the civilization.’
The world’s richest man replied to him: ‘Yes.’
Elon Musk has slammed ‘unwatchable’ Netflix, managed by CEO Reed Hastings (right) for becoming infected by the ‘woke mind virus’ as the streaming giant hemorrhages subscribers
Upon news that it had shed 200,000 subscribers, its shares plunged by 25%. So far this year, its shares are down about 40%, after markets jolted in January when it said that subscriber growth would slow significantly in 2022
New Netflix show He’s Expecting depicts a man who becomes pregnant, with some viewers turning off at its ‘woke’ programming
Fans applauded Musk’s comments with some even urging him to take over Netflix after he concludes his Twitter deal.
The Tesla founder is reportedly plotting to spend up to $15 billion of his own cash to take Twitter private and will launch a second takeover bid in 10 days.
The billionaire, who is Twitter’s second-biggest shareholder with a 9.1 percent stake, has tapped Morgan Stanley to raise $10 billion in debt and will make his next offer in a week-and-a-half, according to the New York Post.
The entrepreneur worth $273 billion is also looking to borrow against his existing 9.2 per cent in the company, which could mean several billion dollars more to make his bid, the Post reported.
Others, however, have suggested that the real problem is Netflix’s habit of canceling beloved shows before their time, angering fans.
Popular TV dramas like The OA, Marco Polo, and The Punisher are being cancelled by the service after series two – leaving fans furious and threatening to cancel their subscriptions because they no longer want to ‘invest their time in a series’ over fears it will be ‘culled’.
Meanwhile, over half of Netflix’s own reality TV shows and dramas released in 2018 have not been commissioned for a second series, compared with more than a third launched in 2017 and 28 percent in 2016, reports The Times.
It comes as the streaming behemoth has lost 200,000 subscribers in just three months, while shareholders of the US firm have been warned to expect another two million subscribers to leave in the three months to July.
Bosses say a second price-rise in a year has played a part, while the company has lost 700,000 following its decision to pull out of Russia in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Netflix said the Covid boom had ‘created a lot of noise’ and blamed the slowdown on the return to normality after two years of lockdowns.
It also blamed password sharing for the rise in cancelled accounts, as it estimated that about 10million households worldwide are watching its service for free by using the account of a friend or another family member.
The company has now started testing different ways of curbing password sharing in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru – and could extend this elsewhere if it proves successful. Bosses are also considering turning the service into a low-fee subscription supported by ads.
Netflix are axing their own shows earlier than ever before and it’s thought to be one of the main reasons the platform is quickly losing subscribers, according to new analysis
Netflix also claimed that the market had now been ‘saturated’ by rising competition from streaming services including Disney+, Apple TV, Now TV, Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount, the cost-of-living crisis gripping the US, Canada and Western Europe, and its decision to quit streaming in Russia after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
And Netflix is also facing another expensive outlay in the form of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, having shelled out for a $100million deal with the couple in September 2020.
As of yet, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are yet to produce any published content for the streaming giant. But the company will be pinning their hopes that their upcoming series documenting the recent Invictus Games will prove value for money.
The rapid rise of rival Disney+, which has seen billions of dollars of investment in recent years, has seen competition in the streaming market increase dramatically.
And other services like Amazon Prime Video, which has captured a share of the live football market in the UK, and AppleTV+, which has seen success through football comedy Ted Lasso, have also seen people turn away from Netflix.
The streaming giant are cancelling many of their own TV series as new data reveals fewer that one in five original shows launched in 2017 reached season three – compared to just 31 per cent in 2015
Despite the streaming service’s recent issues, there have been some successes, with dystopian Korean series Squid Game proving a huge hit, and season one of period drama Bridgerton taking the world by storm.
However fan favourites such as Bloodline and Jessica Jones were cancelled after their third season, leaving viewers frustrated and ‘tired of starting something new only for it to be cancelled two years later’.