Streaming giant Netflix is undergoing a new round of staff lay-offs as subscriptions continue to decline following years’ worth of ‘woke’ offerings that are turning people off.
The streamer is furloughing another 300 workers, most from the U.S., after losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers, The Daily Wire reports.
“Today we sadly let go of around 300 employees,” a Netflix spokesperson told the entertainment outlet Variety. “While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth.
“We are so grateful for everything they have done for Netflix and are working hard to support them through this difficult transition,” the spokesperson continued.
The Daily Wire adds:
Variety noted that this is the second mass layoff at the company in as many months. Netflix, which has roughly 11,000 staffers worldwide, laid off 150 employees and dozens of part-time and contract workers in May.
The cuts at the streaming giant come following dismal reports showing Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 and is expecting 2 million more to end their subscriptions in the second quarter. The major subscription losses dealt a blow to the company’s stock, which lost roughly 70% of its value.
In response to the subscription losses, Netflix reportedly looked to fast-track ad-supported content, according to a May report in The New York Times.
“Executives said they were aiming to introduce an ad-supported, lower-priced subscription tier in the last three months of the year, quicker than originally indicated,” the Times reported.
Many Netflix competitors have begun offering cheaper streaming options and make up the revenue through advertisements. Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO, told investors the company will be introducing a similar model “over the next year or two,” however, an internal memo appears to indicate that the change could come by the end of 2022 instead, The Daily Wire previously reported.
For years, Netflix promised subscribers it would never run ads on its platform, so the internal memo signaling a reversal came as a surprise to many. That said, competitors like Disney, Paramount, Peacock, and others that feature ads appear to have forced Netflix into changing its own business model to reflect the realities of the industry.
“With more new platforms for customers to choose from, and splashy and high-budget titles popping up on those services, increased pressure has been put on Netflix to attract and retain subscribers as it’s been losing valuable library content to companies bringing their content back home for their own streamers,” Variety added.
A spake of ‘woke’ programming, along with left-wing activism within its own ranks, appears to have taken a toll on the company’s subscriptions.
In May following backlash from several employees over a then-newly released show on the streaming platform by comedian Dave Chappelle, who stood accused of featuring trans- and homophobic material, Hastings sent out a memo to all of Netflix’s employees essentially informing them that the company will continue offering a diversity of entertainment and that if certain programming bothered them they were free to find work elsewhere.
“If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you,” the memo stated.
A week later, Netflix announced it was scrapping several ‘woke’ offerings following a dismal quarterly earnings report that fell far short of expectations.
The streaming giant saw its first decline in subscribers in over a decade, losing 200,000 subscribers in 2022’s first quarter. Stocks hit lows not seen in years. In January of 2022, Netflix stock was at $597.37 per share; as of Friday, Netflix shares were trading at about $182 a share, down from around $190 in mid-May.