When Netflix sent out its recent corporate “culture memo,” it contained plenty of advice for workers at the online streaming giant. One portion of the memo involved the excessive level of wokeness among the staff. They reminded workers that the service publishes a broad range of material, not all of which might be embraced by those with excessively progressive tastes. If any of the staff were too easily offended to tolerate such material, the company suggested that perhaps Netflix wasn’t the place for them.
It seems that not enough people took them up on their offer to pack their bags, however. Yesterday the company announced that they were laying off roughly 150 workers, primarily in the United States. They didn’t mention the wokeness issue in this announcement, however. The layoffs are being driven by the bottom line and Netflix just isn’t bringing in as much cash as they had anticipated. (NY Post)
Netflix is laying off roughly 150 employees weeks after the streaming giant posted its first loss in subscribers since 2011.
The job cuts were outlined in an internal memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the cuts on Tuesday, saying: “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 US-based.”
We recently learned that Netflix suffered a net loss in total subscribers as opposed to the “slower growth” that they had been anticipating. Some of that has clearly been driven by the dizzying number of new competitors they have in the field. I’ve already dropped a couple of subscriptions that I rarely use, though our family still has Netflix (for now). There is also likely an element of market saturation at play here. Netflix has been around for a long time. How many people who might want that service haven’t had access to it by now?
No matter the cause, they have to trim the budget somewhere and layoffs were destined to be part of the picture. They’re also talking about ending the sharing of passwords in households. That might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me since they just recently raised their prices again. Alternately, we might just both use my password and account and avoid logging in at the same time. I’ll have to wait to see the details.
But all of this doesn’t mean that the entire wokeness issue wasn’t involved here. Some customers may indeed have quit because they found other options they like better. But some of their more conservative customers might have stuck around and not sought greener pastures if the wokeness level had been dialed back a bit. As John recently pointed out, the whole “Cuties” debacle no doubt turned off a lot of families.
Whichever way Netflix decides to go, they should probably do it quickly. In the most recent announcement, the company said that it anticipates losing another two million subscribers in the second quarter. And if that’s the case, these might not be the last layoffs we learn of.