Netflix to Lay Off 15 Employees as Streamer Shakes Up Marketing Operations

The streaming giant hired a new chief marketing officer, Jackie Lee-Joe, in July

Last Updated: January 28, 2020 @ 5:39 PM

Netflix will let go of roughly 15 employees in its marketing department as the streamer plans to pare down its marketing operation and strategy, according to an individual with knowledge of the layoffs.

The layoffs are only a small percentage of Netflix’s overall workforce, some 6,900 employees.

The streaming giant hired a new chief marketing officer, Jackie Lee-Joe, in July. Lee-Joe, who came over from BBC Studios following former CMO Kelly Bennett’s retirement, believed that Netflix over-hired in the marketing department, according to the individual. Her hope is to restructure the team in a more effective and efficient way.

While Netflix still plans to promote its individual shows and films, it’s looking to better market the streaming service as a whole.

Netflix’s first-mover advantage in streaming has given it dominance over the space, however, recent service launches such as Disney+, Apple TV+ and the coming launches of Peacock and HBO Max will continue to eat into Netflix’s share of the streaming market.

The full scope of the impact from new streaming entrants has yet to be realized, but Netflix did acknowledge during its fourth-quarter earnings that it might be beginning to take a toll.

“Our low membership growth in [the U.S. and Canada] is probably due to our recent price changes and to U.S. competitive launches,” the company said in its recent fourth-quarter letter to shareholders. “We have seen more muted impact from competitive launches outside the U.S. As always, we are working hard to improve our service to combat these factors and push net adds higher over time.”

While Netflix’s U.S. subscriber additions failed to meet Wall Streets expectations, the streamer’s global membership growth was better than Wall Street analysts expected. Netflix added 8.8 million new subscribers during its recent fourth quarter, with approximately 550,000 of those Q4 subscribers coming from the U.S.. The global subscriber growth, however, pushed Netflix’s membership count to 167 million subscribers, more than 100 million of those coming from outside the U.S. for the first time.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report the news.

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